PROVO, Utah (Mercer School Release)- The Mercer men's basketball team aims to extend its postseason run in the National Invitation Tournament on Monday night, taking on Brigham Young in a 9 p.m. showdown at the Marriott Center.


BYU is 22-11 on the year after topping Washington 90-79 in its NIT opener on March 19. The Cougars have dropped three of their last five games, including a three point loss to San Diego in the first round of the WCC tournament.

A potent BYU offense is powered by the inside-outside combination of sophomore guard Tyler Haws and senior forward Brandon Davies. Haws paces the squad at 21.4 points per game, while

Davies averages 17.8 points per outing. Joining them with a double-figure scoring average is

Matt Carlino, who contributes 11 points a game.

Haws has scored 20 or more on 22 occasions and led the team in scoring 19 times. This

season, he's been selected as WCC Player of the Week twice and was recently named to the All-West Coast Conference Team. Davies joined him as an All-Conference honoree scoring double figures in 32 of 33 games this year.

BYU head coach Dave Rose has posted 20-win seasons in all eight years with the program. He's

been honored as conference coach of the year three times and guided the Cougars to six NCAA Tournament appearances.


Monday marks Mercer and BYU's first meeting on the hardwood. Bob Hoffman has faced the Cougars once as a head coach, dropping a 78-76 decision at BYU on December 11, 1993 while with Oklahoma Baptist University.

A victory on Monday would mark Bob Hoffman's 500th win as a collegiate head coach and 100th win at Mercer. Hoffman posted 88 wins with the women at Southern Nazarene, 243 wins with the men at Oklahoma Baptist and 69 wins with the men at Texas Pan-American.

Mercer is riding a six-game winning streak in non-conference postseason play after Wednesday night's win at Tennessee. The streak is the longest in the nation and also features wins over Tennessee State, Georgia State, Old Dominion, Fairfield and Utah State in the 2012 Tournament.

Mercer has posted 21 road wins in the last two seasons, the fourth highest total in the country. The only schools to have more than 21 road wins in the last two years are Robert Morris (24), Bucknell (23) and Middle Tennessee State (22).

Monday night's game marks the second straight year the Bears have found themselves in Utah for a postseason game. The Bears topped Utah State 70-67 in Logan on March 28, 2012.

In a five-day span, Mercer will play in two of the nation's largest collegiate basketball venues. Tennessee's Thompson-Boling Arena has the second-highest capacity (24,535) while BYU's Marriott Center ranks fourth-largest with 22,700 seats.

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