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 2018 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.
 
Scoreboard
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
ETSU7-016-466
UNC-Green.5-114-5109
Wofford4-113-5102
Furman5-214-6113
W. Carolina4-38-11195
Mercer3-410-10206
Samford3-47-13268
VMI1-66-12291
Citadel1-66-13301
Chattanooga0-66-13312

ACC
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Virginia6-017-14
Louisville4-114-416
Duke5-217-21
Clemson5-216-36
N. Carolina5-216-42
Boston College3-313-664
NC State3-313-673
Georgia Tech3-310-9140
Florida St.3-414-545
Notre Dame3-413-760
Miami (Fla.)2-313-422
Syracuse2-413-640
Va. Tech2-413-685
Wake Forest1-58-10132
Pittsburgh0-78-12165
 
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LOYM 63 Final
Kentucky 87
Md-BC 47 Final
Indiana 89
BRAD 66 Final
Michigan 77
FAIR 71 Final
UConn 79
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Florida 82
Memphis 59 Final
GTOWN 70
NWST 67 Final
Miss St 82
Nwstern 79 Final
CREI 87
UMOH 40 Final
Ohio St 69
Lehigh 81 Final
Mich St 90
Wisc-Mil 50 Final
MU 64
Illinois 74 Final
Missouri 78
STMA 59 Final
Baylor 72
Kansas 63 Final
USC 47
LB St 68 Final
XAV 58