JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (School Release) - The Mercer men's basketball team looks to take the next step in the quest for an Atlantic Sun regular season title on Saturday as it takes on East Tennessee State at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. Game time between the Bears and Bucs is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
The Buccaneers sport a 9-18 (7-7 A-Sun) record and aim to extend a two-game winning streak on Saturday afternoon. Earlier this year, Mercer toppled ETSU in Macon by a 78-59 count on January 17.
The ETSU offense is led by senior Jarvis Jones, who missed the first seven games of the season after being declared academically ineligible. Since his return, Jones is averaging 16.6 points per game and has led or tied for the team lead in scoring 10 times.
Freshman Lester Wilson joins Jones adds a dynamic skill-set at the forward position, averaging 14.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Entering Saturday's play, he's scored 20 or more six times and topped 10 points on 21 occasions.
Entering the year, the Buccaneers returned two starters from last year's team that finished 17-14 (10-8 A-Sun). Due to injuries and dismissals, the current ETSU roster features no starters from last year's team. In the preseason polls, the A-sun coaches picked ETSU to finish fifth.
ETSU leads the league in home attendance, drawing an average of 2,507 fans per game. The team is 5-6 at home this season, including a 4-3 mark in conference action.
Bob Hoffman has led his Mercer teams to winning streaks of at least five in each of his five years at Mercer. The Bears aim to extend the current five-game winning streak on Saturday.
If Mercer can reach 18 wins this season, senior Chris Smith will graduate with the most victories for any Mercer player in program history (76). Smith has appeared in every Mercer game since the start of the 2010-11 season. Saturday will mark the 119th-consecutive game played of his career.
Jakob Gollon posted 12 points and 10 rebounds on Thursday night for Mercer's second double-double of the season. He joined Langston Hall as the only Mercer players to accomplish the feat this year. It was Gollon's second double-double of his career.
Langston Hall dished five assists in Mercer's win at USC Upstate, moving his career total to 365. He leads all active A-Sun players in the category and ranks third in program history for career assists.