Mercer men survive USC Upstate in overtime

Senior center Daniel Coursey's 16-point, 10-rebound double-double, game-winning bucket and game-saving last-second block on USC Upstate's Torrey Craig led the Mercer men's basketball team to a 62-60 overtime win on Saturday at Hawkins Arena.

Mercer's 19th win in its last 20 regular season conference home games pushed the Bears to 11-5 (2-1 A-Sun) on the season. USC Upstate fell to 7-7 (0-1 A-Sun) with the loss.

Coursey shot 7-of-11 from the field while adding an assist and a block to his double-double performance. Sophomore Ike Nwamu added 13 points, two rebounds and an assist while senior Langston Hall registered nine assists and seven points.

Free throws for USC Upstate senior Jodd Maxey tied the game for the seventh time at 54-54 with 1:57 to play in regulation. Both teams missed field goals on their next two possessions, the last of which found USC Upstate junior Fred Miller open in the corner for a chance at the game winner. Miller's attempt found iron with six seconds left and Mercer grabbed the ball and called timeout with 0.4 seconds on the clock.

Mercer head coach Bob Hoffman drew up a play for senior Bud Thomas, who grabbed the ball in the backcourt and launched a three-quarter court heave. The ball nearly went in, hitting both glass and iron before sending the teams to overtime.

With 1:02 to play in overtime, the game was deadlocked for the ninth time at 60-60 when Coursey got the ball in the paint and missed on a seven-foot jumper. Coursey attacked the glass, grabbed the rebound and scored while being fouled. His ensuing free throw was off the mark and USC Upstate regained possession.

USC Upstate junior Ty Greene missed a three pointer with 42 seconds left and Coursey tracked down the rebound. On the other end, Gollon went in for a layup with six seconds on the clock and missed, sending Craig the other way with the ball.

Craig bobbled the ball momentarily at midcourt and Coursey raced back to defend the hoop. With one second left, Craig released a floater that Coursey pinned against the glass to secure the win.

Mercer improved to 4-0 in overtime games this season, with wins over Seton Hall, Valparaiso, Denver and USC Upstate. The Bears are now 2-1 in A-Sun play for the third-straight season.

The Bears' win was their 10th-straight against USC Upstate dating back to the 2009-10 season. Mercer's win was also its 38th in its last 42 games at Hawkins Arena.

Mercer resumes A-Sun action on Monday evening hosting East Tennessee State. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.


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