Mercer vs Georgia Tech

Mercer 65, Georgia Tech 59

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DULUTH, Ga. (AP) - Mercer finally got its breakthrough victory over one of Georgia's major college teams.

Travis Smith went 6 of 6 at the foul line in the final minute and Mercer overcame a seven-point second half deficit, snapping a nine-game losing streak to in-state foe Georgia Tech with a 65-59 victory Thursday night.

Monty Brown scored a career-best 13 points off the bench to lead four double-figure scorers for Mercer (8-5). Glen Rice Jr. had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Yellow Jackets (7-5).

"This is a big victory for us and something for us to build on," Mercer coach Bob Hoffman said. "I'm just thrilled to see these guys enjoy the fruits of their labors."

Mercer's last victory over Tech had come on Jan. 28, 1974, when the Bears won 102-85 in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets had won 20 of the past 22 meetings in a series that goes back to 1909.

"This isn't just for us," the Bears' Bud Thomas said. "This is for Mercer and all the teams that came before us."

Mercer led Georgia by eight points in the first half at Athens on Tuesday before losing 72-58. It was the 15th straight loss to the Bulldogs for Mercer, which almost upset them last season before losing 56-53.

The Bears, a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference, also had some close games against Tech in recent years. This time Mercer broke through.

Tech went on an 11-3 run to go up 51-44 with 7:02 left to play. But Mercer closed the game on a 21-8 run. After Rice's two free throws with 1:16 left got Tech back within two points, Mercer went 7 of 8 at the foul line to close out the win. The Yellow Jackets' only score in the final minute was a 3-pointer by Jason Morris.

"Give Mercer credit," Yellow Jackets coach Brian Gregory said. "I said before the game that they were a very good team. I knew this was going to be a tough game."

Thomas had 12 points for Mercer, while Jakob Gollon and Daniel Coursey each scored 10. Langston Hall and Gollon each had five assists and Thomas grabbed seven rebounds.

Morris had 10 points for Tech, which was just 4 of 16 on 3-pointers and committed 16 turnovers.

"They were tougher than we were," Gregory said. "We got what we deserved. They were the more physical team."

It was the first loss for the Yellow Jackets in five games in the Arena at Gwinnett Center, about 20 miles from campus. Tech, which is playing its other games at Philips Arena, is without a true home court this season as a new on-campus arena is built.

Neither team led by more than four points in the first half, which ended with Mercer ahead 31-30. Brown and Tech's Kammeon Holsey each had eight first-half points.

Mercer hit four of its first six 3-point attempts and led 24-20 midway through the first half before Tech scored seven straight points to go up 27-24. The Bears finished the half on a 7-3 run, though, with Brown getting their final four points.

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Tech, which doesn't play again until it goes to New York to face Fordham next Thursday.

The victory over Tech capped a tough nonconference stretch for Mercer, which lost in overtime to Seton Hall 80-77 on Sunday. The Bears play at Tulsa next Wednesday.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Mercer (8-5) «313465
Georgia Tech (7-5)302959

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Mercer Bears
J. Gollon, F334-70-155310
J. Cecil, F243-70-02038
D. Coursey, C205-110-040110
L. Hall, G351-91-23514
B. Thomas, G344-72-272112
T. Smith241-36-60328
M. Brown124-65-831113
S. Harris60-10-00010
C. Smith50-00-00000
P. Larsen30-10-22000
K. Canevari20-10-00000
T. Hallice20-00-02010
Totals 22-5314-2130161465
 41.5%66.7% 
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
K. Holsey, F164-41-23149
D. Miller, C322-93-46337
G. Rice Jr., G377-134-4113219
J. Morris, G284-110-010310
B. Reed, G151-50-15112
M. Udofia302-61-21136
N. Foreman170-00-00120
J. Royal142-40-01114
N. Hicks61-10-02012
P. Jordan50-00-01000
Totals 23-539-1334112059
 43.4%69.2% 
Southern
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Chattanooga15-329-650
ETSU14-423-1186
Furman11-719-16167
Wofford11-715-17200
W. Carolina10-816-18166
UNC-Green.10-815-19237
Mercer8-1019-15194
Samford4-1414-19252
VMI4-149-21317
Citadel3-1510-22322

ACC
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
N. Carolina14-433-75
Virginia13-529-83
Miami (Fla.)13-527-89
Louisville12-623-817
Duke11-725-1120
Notre Dame11-724-1231
Va. Tech10-820-1589
Clemson10-817-14131
Pittsburgh9-921-1253
Syracuse9-923-1472
Florida St.8-1020-1482
Georgia Tech8-1021-1569
NC State5-1316-17123
Wake Forest2-1611-20159
Boston College0-187-25250
 
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