Mercer 75, Tennessee 67: Travis
Smith scored 25 points as the Bears continued the SEC's disappointing
showing in the NIT, topping the host Volunteers.
Mercer (24-11), a No. 7 seed, got
a perfect shooting night from Daniel Coursey, who hit 7-of-7 on his
way to 15 points before fouling out. Langston Hall had 16 points and seven assists for the Bears, while Jakob Gollon chipped in with 12.
Tennessee (20-13), a No. 2 seed,
was led by Trae Golden's 20 points and Jarnell Stokes' 14 points and
13 rebounds. The Vols outrebounded the Bears 40-29, and recorded 19 offensive boards.
Mercer trailed 27-24 before going
on a 10-1 run over the last 2:35 of the first half to take the lead
for good. The Bears shot 53.8 percent in the first half, recording 11
assists on their 14 field goals.
The Bears finished shooting 50
percent and had 16 assists on 26 field goals. The Vols had 21
second-chance points but shot 37.9 percent from the field, including
7-of-24 from 3-point range.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Mercer, which won the 2012 College Insider Tournament, has prevailed in sixth straight postseason tournament games. … Tennessee had been
12-0 this season when Golden scored at least 12 points. … The Bears
advance to the second round of the NIT, where they will meet Brigham