NCAA BK

Wed, Mar 20, 2013 - 8:00 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Mercer 75, Tennessee 67

Share This Story

   
 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP)

Mercer had much more time than Tennessee to get over the disappointment of missing the NCAA tournament. That difference was apparent Wednesday in Mercer's 75-67 NIT first-round victory over Tennessee.

Travis Smith scored 25 points to match his career high as Mercer (24-11) showed more energy than Tennessee (20-13) all night in front of only 4,468 fans at the 21,678-seat Thompson-Boling Arena. Mercer advanced to a second-round game Monday at BYU.

Mercer won the Atlantic Sun regular-season title, but it lost to Florida Gulf Coast in the March 9 conference championship game. The NIT grants automatic bids to conference regular-season champions that fail to win their league tournaments and don't receive NCAA at-large invitations.

Tennessee didn't learn it was going to the NIT until it failed to earn an NCAA at-large invitation on Sunday.

''I could definitely see where it's a lot harder for them to have a quick turnaround like that,'' said Mercer center Daniel Coursey, who scored 15 points and shot 7-for-7. ''I feel like that did have sort of an effect. We had a full week-and-a-half that we didn't even play a game. We had a few days off and then had practice. That definitely helped us.''

Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin said his players were emotionally drained, but he also credited Mercer for outplaying his team. Mercer led 34-28 at halftime and stayed ahead throughout the second half.

''We knew as a staff it would be a tough game because of their talent level, not necessarily because we didn't make the tournament,'' Martin said. ''That just adds to it.''

This marked the second straight night a Southeastern Conference team had lost to a team from a low-major conference in the NIT. Robert Morris of the Northeast Conference beat defending national champion Kentucky 59-57 on Tuesday.

Mercer improved to 2-1 this season against Southeastern Conference foes. Mercer lost 58-49 at Georgia on Dec. 18 and won 66-59 at Alabama on Dec. 22. Alabama had won two of its three meetings with Tennessee this season.

''We were very confident,'' Smith said. ''We're a tight-knit team and we believe we can compete with anybody at any given time.''

Trae Golden scored 20 points and Jarnell Stokes had 14 points and 13 rebounds for Tennessee. Stokes' 12 offensive rebounds were the most by a Tennessee player since the school started keeping track of that statistic in 2011-02. Jordan McRae had been leading the Vols with 16 points per game, but he scored just seven Wednesday and shot 3-for-14.

Tagged: Tennessee, Mercer

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



NCAA BK Videos

Cuonzo Martin new head coach at Cal Posted: Apr 16, 2014
Cuonzo Martin is introduced as Cal's new head coach.

Francesa: Calipari doesn't tell NBA the truth Posted: Apr 14, 2014
John Calipari says that he will lie to the NBA when asked about players.

Francesa: Kentucky players 'attacked' all year Posted: Apr 14, 2014
John Calipari talks about how he used negative press to turn his team into a cha...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/885881/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_885000/ff_885881_xl.jpg&w=100 74.95 Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black
    Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Georgetown_Hoyas/browse/featuredproduct/1030243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1030000/ff_1030243_xl.jpg&w=100 119.95 Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue
    Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Duke_Blue_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/1032710/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1032000/ff_1032710_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue
    Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oregon_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/1052002/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052002_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green
    Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Ohio_State_Buckeyes/browse/featuredproduct/1052645/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052645_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet
    Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Indiana_Hoosiers/browse/featuredproduct/1124528/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1124000/ff_1124528_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Cri..
    adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Louisville_Cardinals/browse/featuredproduct/1127200/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127200_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/1127218/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127218_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey ..
    Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Gonzaga_Bulldogs/browse/featuredproduct/1155821/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1155000/ff_1155821_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue
    Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions Adjustable Hat – Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Hurricanes/browse/featuredproduct/1177723/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1177000/ff_1177723_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Cham..