MACON, Ga. (School Release)- Fresh off an overtime victory on Thursday night, the Mercer men's basketball team is back in action on Saturday, welcoming North Florida to Hawkins Arena. Game time is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
SCOUTING NORTH FLORIDA
North Florida comes to Macon on a two-game winning streak after downing Kennesaw State by a 60-52 margin on Thursday night. The Ospreys are 10-15 (5-7 A-Sun) and just 3-11 in road games this year.
North Florida boasts two of the league's best scorers in senior guard Parker Smith and junior Travis Wallace. Smith ranks second among A-Sun players at 16.9 points per game, while Travis Wallace is ninth at 14.5 points per game.
The Ospreys also have one of the league's top newcomers in freshman Beau Beech. The 6-foot-8 guard has started 21 of 25 games and is averaging 8.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.
The Ospreys return four starters from last year's team that fininshed 16-16 (10-8 A-Sun). In a preseason poll of the leagues coaches, North Florida was picked to finish fourth among A-Sun competition. Both Smith and his classmate Jerron Granberry picked up preseason All-Conference selections in the same poll.
Mercer leads the all-time series with North Florida, 12-3. Earlier this year, the Bears placed four players in double-figure scoring in a 66-47 win at UNF Arena. Mercer head coach Bob Hoffman is 3-1 against the Ospreys in Macon.
On Thursday night, Langston Hall scored the 900th point of his career in his 90th game played. Entering Saturday, he needs just 88 points to become the 35th member of Mercer's 1,000 point club and 142nd member of the Atlantic Sun 1,000 point club. If Hall averages 12.5 points per game, he can reach the mark during the regular season.
On Thursday night, Hall and Travis Smith both scored in double figures. The Bears are 9-1 on the year when both players score 10 or more.
Daniel Coursey blocked the 118th shot of his career on Thursday night. He needs just one more rejection to move into the top 20 A-Sun players in career blocks.
Bob Hoffman's Mercer teams have piled up a 25-8 record after the New Year in each of the last two seasons. This season, the Bears are 7-3 since January 1.