DELAND, Fla. – Travis Smith scored 15 points to lead five Mercer starters in double figures as the Bears beat Stetson 77-65 Saturday in each team's season finale to claim their first Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season championship since 2002-03.
Bud Thomas and Daniel Coursey scored 14 points apiece, Langston Hall added 12 and Jakob Gollon had 11 for Mercer (21-10, 14-4), which closes the season winning 9 of its last 10 games.
On top 55-50 with just over 7 minutes to play, Mercer used a 12-2 run, capped by Thomas' 3-pointer to extend its lead to 67-52 with 3:25 remaining. The Bears led by double figures the rest of the way.
Mercer shot 50 percent (27 of 54) compared to Stetson's 38.5 percent (20 of 52), and the Bears held a 17-10 advantage on turnovers.
Joel Naburgs scored 14 points to lead the Hatters (14-15, 11-7), who had their four-game winning streak snapped.