ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Three-time Southern Conference MVP Kahlia Lawrence added an NCAA Tournament berth to her resume, scoring 29 points and leading No. 25 Mercer to a 68-53 win over East Tennessee State in the championship game on Sunday.
It was the first league tournament title in their third-straight championship game for the Bears (30-2) and fittingly it came as they reached 30 wins for the first time in school history and ran their record winning streak to 27.
Alex Williams added 14 points and KeKe Calloway 11 for Mercer, whose only appearance in the NCAA Tournament was at the Division II level in 1985.
The Bears returned all five starters from last year's team that shared the conference title with Chattanooga but lost to the Mocs for the automatic bid for the second year in a row.
ETSU (20-11) was led by SoCon freshman of the year Erica Haynes-Overton with 12 points.