MACON, GA. -- Kahlia Lawrence scored 21 points to lead Mercer past Furman, 65-53, in Southern Conference women's basketball action Thursday afternoon at Hawkins Arena.
The victory was the 18th-straight for Mercer (21-2, 8-0 SoCon) and completed the Bears' season sweep of Furman (13-10, 3-5 SoCon).
The Paladins got 16 points and seven rebounds from freshman Celena Taborn and 12 points from Le'Jzae Davidson. DeAnneisha Jackson rounded out Furman's trio of double figure scorers with 10 points to go along seven caroms.
Mercer took advantage of 22 Furman turnovers to outscore the Paladins 24-7 on miscues. The Bears were also near perfect at the free throw line, draining 21 of 22 chances, including 9-of-10 by Lawrence, who was joined in double figures by Keke Calloway.
Mercer, which connected on 12-of-20 3-pointers in the season's first meeting, an 86-64 win in Greenville, didn't make a trey in the contest but were never seriously threatened after grabbing an 18-8 first quarter lead and finishing off the first half with an 11-0 run to take a 34-18 lead into intermission.
Furman cut Mercer's lead to 43-34 by the end of the third quarter and pulled to within seven points on five occasions in the fourth period, the latest coming on a Taborn layup with 4:11 to go to make it a 51-44 contest. The Bears, however, salted the game away at the free throw line, scoring their final eight points from the stripe.
The Paladins connected on 47.8 percent of their shots (22x46) to Mercer's 41.5 percent (22x53), and posted a 32-25 rebounding advantage; however the points off turnover and Mercer's 15-point advantage at the free throw line proved decisive.
Furman plays at Samford on Saturday in a 3:00 p.m. ET (2:00 CT) game.
Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information