Macon, Ga. – Daniel Coursey scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and overtime combined and Mercer held on for a 62-60 victory over USC Upstate Saturday afternoon from Hawkins Arena.
Torrey Craig put Upstate ahead 50-47 with 5:04 left in regulation with a three-pointer from the top of the key. Mercer answered with a pair of free throws from Jakob Gollon and three-pointer from Langston Hall on consecutive possessions to pull ahead 52-50 with just over four minutes remaining.
Ty Greene hit two free throws to even the game at 52 apiece before Mercer regained the lead on the ensuing possession following a layup from Ike Nwamu. Jodd Maxey knocked down two free throws for Upstate 1:12 later to pull Upstate even at 54-54 with 1:57 left to play.
Two misses by Mercer and one by Upstate thereafter left the Spartans with the final shot after a timeout with 20 seconds left, but Fred Miller's three-pointer from the corner rimmed out and the rebound was secured by the Bears. Bud Thomas' half court heave at the buzzer hit off the backboard and the front rim before falling to the floor.
Ricardo Glenn put Upstate ahead 58-56 1:18 into overtime with a layup off a feed from Craig, but Coursey responded with a dunk on the following Mercer possession to even the game at 58-58. Miller drew a foul on the next Upstate possession and hit one of two free throws to put the Spartans back ahead by a point. Coursey used another dunk with 1:43 left to put Mercer ahead 60-59 before Glenn scored on a free throw to tie the game with 1:23 remaining.
Coursey struck again on the next possession when he missed a layup, grabbed his own rebound and finished with a layup and drew a foul to put Mercer up 62-60 with 1:02 left. Coursey missed the free throw and a three-point attempt by Greene on the other end went wide.
Gollon missed a jumped in the lane on the ensuing possession and Maxey grabbed the rebound and threw an outlet pass to Craig with six seconds to play. Craig drove the length of the court and put up a layup attempt that was blocked by Thomas as time expired.
Craig finished with 19 points and four rebounds to lead Upstate. Greene added 10 points and became the 19th member of the Upstate 1,000 point club. Maxey led Upstate with 10 rebounds.
Kevin Canevari gave Mercer its largest lead of the first half with a layup at the 11:41 mark to put the Bears ahead 12-7, but back-to-back three-pointers by Craig and a jumper by Greene put Upstate ahead by three points with just over eight minutes remaining.
The Bears cut the Upstate deficit to two points, 19-17, at the 6:26 mark, but Craig answered with his third 3-pointer of the half and Maxey followed with a layup to push the Upstate lead back to seven points with 4:32 left in the first half.
Karim Mawuenyega put Upstate up 27-22 with 2:24 left in the half before Coursey hit a jumper in the lane to pull the Bears within three, 27-24, at halftime.
USC Upstate returns to action Monday at 7 p.m. when the Spartans travel to Kennesaw, Ga., to take on Kennesaw State from the KSU Convocation Center.