Mercer men's basketball tops Denver in OT, 64-63

MACON, Ga. – Senior Jakob Gollon grabbed an offensive rebound and scored a layup with 12 seconds left in overtime to lift the Mercer men's basketball team to a 64-63 win over Denver on Saturday at Hawkins Arena.

Mercer's third overtime win of the year pushed the team to 6-4 overall while Denver fell to 2-5. The Bears are now 7-1 in their last eight overtime games, including five-straight wins in overtime contests.

Senior Langston Hall paced Mercer offensively with 16 points while his classmate Daniel Coursey registered his second double-double of the year with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Gollon's game winning bucket capped his evening with 14 points, eight rebounds, six assists and a steal.

A back-and-forth affair saw Denver hold a slim 30-29 edge early in the second half before Anthony White Jr. canned a three to spur an 11-3 run that put Mercer up seven with 13:45 left in regulation. The Pioneers got a three from Brett Olson on their next possession to stay within striking distance, and ultimately came back to tie matters at 46-46 with 5:24 to play.

With 1:33 to go, Mercer led by one when Olson dished to Cam Griffin for a slicing layup and a 52-51 Denver lead. That advantage held until the 14 second mark, when Coursey grabbed an offensive board under the hoop and slammed the putback to give Mercer a 53-52 edge.

Denver's Chris Udofia slashed to the basket on the next possession and was fouled. He hit 1-of-2 free throws to tie the game at 53-53 and on the other end Coursey was denied at the rim as time expired.

With less than two minutes to play in the overtime the teams were deadlocked at 60-60, marking the 13th tie score of the afternoon. Denver's Jalen Love nailed a 30-footer to put the Pioneers ahead by three and Hall responded with a jumper to bring Mercer within one at 63-62.

Denver turned it over with 20 seconds left, but Hall's jumper with 16 seconds left was off the mark. Gollon grabbed the loose ball under the hoop and went back up for the game winner with 12 seconds to go.

On the final possession, Love missed a three with four seconds left and senior Bud Thomas secured the rebound to seal the victory.

Thomas tied a career-high with 10 rebounds to go along with four points, three assists, a block and a steal. Junior T.J. Hallice chipped in seven points, two rebounds, two blocks and an assist off the bench.

Mercer's win moved the team to 5-0 at home this season and marked the team's 18th-straight regular season win at Hawkins Arena. The Bears have not lost an overtime game since falling at Seton Hall on December 18, 2011.

The Bears will break for finals week and resume competition on December 16, hosting Alcorn State. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.


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