Mercer (15-9, 8-8) vs. Western Carolina (10-15, 3-13)
Ramsey Center, Cullowhee, North Carolina; Saturday, 1 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Mercer goes for the season sweep over Western Carolina after winning the previous matchup in Macon. The teams last met on Jan. 16, when the Bears shot 47.3 percent from the field while limiting Western Carolina’s shooters to just 37.3 percent en route to the 78-76 victory.
VETERAN PRESENCE: Senior leadership could play a big role in this game’s outcome. Cory Hightower, Mason Faulkner and Matt Halvorsen have combined to account for 47 percent of Western Carolina’s scoring this season. For Mercer, Felipe Haase, Ross Cummings and Jeff Gary have combined to score 43 percent of the team’s points this season.FELIPE IS A FORCE: Haase has connected on 38.2 percent of the 123 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 10 of 23 over his last three games. He’s also made 67.4 percent of his free throws this season.
SCORING THRESHOLDS: Western Carolina is 0-10 when its offense scores 70 points or fewer. Mercer is a perfect 6-0 when it holds opponents to 69 or fewer points and has allowed 68 points per game over its last five.
UNDEFEATED WHEN: Mercer is a perfect 6-0 when the team records nine or more steals. The Bears are 9-9 when they steal the ball fewer than nine times.
DID YOU KNOW: Western Carolina gets to the line more often than any other SoCon team. The Catamounts have averaged 19.8 foul shots per game this season.
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