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Women’s Basketball: Mercer ignites UF’s lopsided win over ABU

By ANDY WOLF
STAFF WRITER
Kennis Mercer provided one of the unlikeliest sources of energy sparks Tuesday night.
The University of Findlay junior guard had only played 7 minutes in two games all season for the women’s basketball team, but rose to the calling by burying a 3-pointer to give the Oilers a 22-19 edge after one quarter.
The momentum easily carried over as UF outscored Alderson Broaddus 29-6 in the second quarter and cruised to a 90-45 Great Midwest Athletic Conference victory at Croy Gymnasium.
“It is really nice heading into the break with a nice, decisive win,” Mercer said. “We know when we come back we just take this and roll with it.”
The Oilers (10-1, 7-0 GMAC) recorded their 10th straight victory and matched their best start under coach Jim Wiedie, having gone 10-1 to start the 2015-16 season.
Mercer tallied a career-high nine points, a rebound and a steal in 10 minutes, hitting a 3-pointer in each of the first three quarters before missing her final attempt in the fourth quarter.
“I was really excited because I’ve kind of been working and waiting,” Mercer said. “I’m really glad that I finally got an opportunity.”
She entered Tuesday with just 24 career points in 70 minutes under her belt.
Wiedie said Mercer came into his office Tuesday and asked him how she could get into the mix, both knowing junior and shooter Lauren Ruth’s season is over with an ACL tear.
He told her she’d get an opportunity, calling her number at the 2:14 mark of the first quarter.
“It was a little bit of a surprise even though we talked about it,” Mercer said.
She quickly played tough on-ball defense and even collected the rebound on the miss.
The scoring spark wasn’t a surprise to Wiedie.
“Next to Lynsey (Englebrecht), she’s probably the best 3-point shooter on the team,” Wiedie said.
Eighteen of Mercer’s previous points came from six 3-pointers in 12 attempts.
After ABU (1-6, 1-5) forced the fifth tie of the quarter, the Battlers left Mercer all alone on the right wing with the shot clock winding down.
Mercer didn’t hesitate and buried it.
“You give her just the slightest breathing space, she’s going to drill the three and she did that tonight,” Wiedie said.
Things suddenly started to click for UF.
The Oilers opened the second frame on a 15-3 run, getting eight points in the span from junior Christa Puthoff (14 points), and never looked back.
Anna Hintz, who didn’t play in the second quarter, led the Oilers in scoring again with 19 points, going 9 of 12 from the field.

ALDERSON BROADDUS (1-6, 1-5 GMAC)
Norman 3-6 0-1 6, Garcia 1-4 0-0 2, Jeffries 6-12 1-2 14, Franklin 3-7 0-2 8, Parker 5-11 0-0 10, Bray 0-3 0-0 0, Cunningham 1-2 0-0 3, Cox 0-2 0-0 0, Allen 0-0 0-0 0, Moyer 0-2 0-0 0, Hudson 0-0 0-0 0, Bonner 0-1 0-0 0, Nunley 0-0 0-0 0, Steverson 0-1 2-2 2. TOTALS: 19-51 3-7 45.
FINDLAY (10-1, 7-0 GMAC)
Hintz 9-12 1-2 19, Horstman 3-5 0-0 7, Englebrecht 3-11 0-0 7, Ellerbrock 2-4 4-5 8, Stegmaier 4-5 0-0 10, Ken. Hinton 0-1 0-0 0, Molnar 0-1 0-0 0, Mercer 3-4 0-0 9, Thobe 2-3 0-0 4, Stolly 0-1 1-2 1, Fricke 4-7 1-2 11, Seger 0-1 0-0 0, Kee. Hinton 0-0 0-0 0, Puthoff 5-12 4-5 14. TOTALS: 35-67 11-16 90.
3-Point GOALS: Alderson Broaddus 4-17 (Jeffries 1-4, Franklin 2-3, Parker 0-5, Cunningham 1-2, Cox 0-1, Moyer 0-2); Findlay 9-17 (Horstman 1-2, Englebrecht 1-4, Stegmaier 2-2, Molnar 0-1, Mercer 3-4, Stolly 0-1, Fricke 2-3).
rebounds: Alderson Broaddus 26 (Norman 8); Findlay 42 (Stegmaier & Puthoff 6).
ASSISTS: Alderson Broaddus 12; Findlay 24 (Horstman & Englebrecht 5).
STEALS: Alderson Broaddus 8 (Norman 2); Findlay 11 (Molnar 3).
BLOCKS: Alderson Broaddus 3 (Parker 2); Findlay 1 (Puthoff 1).
TURNOVERS: Alderson Broaddus 23; Findlay 11.
TOTAL FOULS: Alderson Broaddus 17; Findlay 15.
FOULED OUT: Alderson Broaddus (Garcia).
HALFTIME: Findlay, 51-25.
Wolf: 419-427-8496,
andywolf@thecourier.com