"I really think we were surprised we came out and we were up on them," Teater said.
It didn't last long. Mercer (14-5, 6-0) scored 17 of the next 21 points, including seven points from Courtney Watts and six from Horn. Garrard had one more run in it, scoring three consecutive baskets to cut a 12-point deficit to six at 25-19 with 5:34 to play in the second quarter. Once again, Mercer had the answer with a 10-point run to go up 35-19.
Mercer led by 13 at the half, and that point differential could be traced to the free-throw line. Mercer hit 13 of 19 first-half free throws, while Garrard missed its only attempt.
For the game, the Scotties hit 26 of 33 free throws as 17 of Garrard's 18 fouls led to Mercer shooting two free throws.
"We've been practicing free throws a lot lately," Horn said. "We were hoping they would foul, and a lot of them did."
"We didn't box out and we were fouling every time," Teater said. "We've got to box out and cut down our turnovers. We get so frustrated not blocking out that we're not going to be able to take care of the ball better."
Turnovers hurt Garrard
Garrard certainly had no luck with that, as the Lions turned the ball over 32 times. Guards Chrystal Claunch and Chelsea Goodman each had six steals for Mercer.
When Garrard wasn't turning the ball over, it was able to hit shots. The Lions finished the game 20 of 38 from the field (53 percent) and hit eight of their 13 free-throw attempts.
Mercer grabbed 17 rebounds in the second half, using its prowess on the offensive boards to either get second shots or get fouled and go to the free throw line.
"Once we block out, we're good," Horn said. "If we put our minds to it, we'll put our butts into somebody and knock them down. I thought everybody did a real good job of going to the glass."
Erica Lee finished with 11 rebounds to go with her 11 points.
Mercer finished 23-for-60 (38 percent) shooting from the field and won the rebounding battle 31-28. Goodman scored 18 points and Watts had 12, while Claunch added five assists.
"They're a good team and they do the little things," Teater said. "That's why they are where they're at. They do the little things, and we don't do those right now. Those are things we can fix."
"They've improved, they're no pushovers, and when it comes to district tournament time I'm sure we'll probably meet again and they'll be ready for us," Souder said.
GARRARD (8-10) - Kia Howard 13, Andrea Adams 4, Abby Parsons 14, Chelsea Denny 2, Ashley Meadows 6, Wendi Logan 2, Jessica Cole 4, Sydney Napier 4.
MERCER (14-5) - Courtney Watts 12, Chrystal Claunch 5, Chelsea Goodman 18, Erin Ashford 3, Jillian Horn 20, Erica Lee 11, Cala Alford 6.