Date: Monday, January 5, 2015 | 7 p.m.
Teams: Mercer (7-8, 2-0 SoCon) at VMI (5-9, 1-2 SoCon)
Location: Lexington, Va. – Cameron Hall
Video: SoCon Digital Network (Wade Branner, Cal Murray)
Radio: New Country 96.5 | IHeartRadio (Rick Cameron)
Tickets: VMI Ticket Sales
Twitter Updates: @MercerMBB
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
VMI has lost three-straight entering Monday’s game and holds a 5-9 (1-2 SoCon) record on the season. The Keydets are 3-1 at home this year, with two of those victories coming against non-Division I competition.
The Keydets boast a high-powered offense, ranking fifth nationally with an average of 85.7 points per game. Over 52 percent of the team’s shots come from beyond the arc, as the squad leads the country in total 3-pointers made (170), 3-pointers attempted (536) and 3-pointers made per game (12/1).
Sophomore QJ Peterson paces the squad at 19.7 points per game, an average that jumps to 25.3 points per game in league play. Peterson led all scorers with 32 points in the Dec. 6 loss to Mercer, hoisting 26 shots in 37 minutes of playing time.
VMI allows 82.2 points per game, checking in at 341st nationally and last among SoCon teams. The Keydets have given up 90 or more in six games this season, including Mercer’s season-high 90-point output on Dec. 6.
Head coach Duggar Baucom is in his 10th season at VMI, holding a 145-149 overall record with the school. Baucom has surpassed the 20-win mark twice at VMI, most recently presiding over last year’s 22-13 campaign.
Mercer is 2-0 in conference play for just the second time under head coach Bob Hoffman. The Bears won their first two Atlantic Sun games in 2012-13 on their way to an outright claim to the league’s regular season title. Mercer hasn’t started 3-0 in conference play since the 2002-03 season.
Head coach Bob Hoffman is a perfect 7-0 against SoCon affiliated teams in his Mercer tenure. In seven seasons on the Mercer sidelines, Hoffman is 14-5 against the current SoCon membership.
Over the last four seasons, the Bears have gone 52-16 after the New Year.
Jibri Bryan has posted double-doubles in both of Mercer’s SoCon games. Bryan’s two double-doubles are the only ones for Mercer this season, and puts him among seven SoCon players with multiple double-dips this season.
The Bears have scored 20 or more off the bench in three straight games, after having done so just once in the first 12 games of the season. Mercer’s 48 points off the bench at Georgia was a season-high, and was a greater bench scoring total than the previous four games combined.
Mercer’s 90 points in the win over VMI was a season-high scoring total for the team. The Bears have scored 90 or more 11 times under Bob Hoffman and are 9-2 in those games.
Ike Nwamu has scored 10 or more in 10 of the last 11 games. His 30 points at Tennessee was a career-high effort and marked his sixth game this season with 20+ points.
Mercer has hit seven or more 3-pointers in eight-straight games, including a season-high 11 made 3’s at UNCG. Prior to the streak, the Bears hadn’t hit seven or more 3’s in any game.