JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (MERCER RELEASE) – Senior Bud Thomas unleashed a dizzying barrage of 3-pointers over the East Tennessee State zone defense to power the Mercer men's basketball team to a 90-77 win at the MSHA Athletic Center on Friday evening.
Thomas drilled eight three-balls, including four in a three-minute stretch to close the first half en route to a game-high 28 points. The effort left the senior from Highlands Ranch, Colorado just one short of tying his own program record for single-game 3-pointers, set earlier this season at Lipscomb.
As a team, Mercer canned 14 3-pointers, outdueling ETSU in a battle that saw the teams combine for 46 3-point attempts. The 14 makes left Mercer just one short of tying the team program single-game record, achieved most recently in 2008-09 against USC Upstate.
Senior Jakob Gollon registered the third double-double of his career and first of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds in the win. Gollon nearly finished with a double-double, handing out seven assists on the evening.
Gollon's strong night on the glass helped Mercer dominate the undersized ETSU squad 38-24 on the boards. Thomas was close to a double-double as well, grabbing eight rebounds of his own.
Senior Anthony White Jr. joined Thomas and Gollon in double-figure scoring, netting 13 in conjunction with five assists and three rebounds.
Both team's leading scorers hit 3's on the opening possession and a fast paced start saw the teams sharing a 10-10 tie at the first media break. Mercer got its first lead of the night as Gollon collected a weak side offensive rebound and went back up for a 12-10 Mercer lead at the 14:00juncture.
Later, Kevin Canevari rifled a cross-court pass to Thomas for a 3-pointer and then knocked one down himself next time down as part of a 13-0 Mercer surge that put the Bears ahead 18-10.
ETSU junior Jalen Riley stopped the run with a 3-pointer and the Bucs did their best to hang around, cutting the deficit to four late in the half before Thomas unleashed his assault.
After going into the break ahead 45-31, Mercer led by double digits for the majority of the second half before setting on the 13-point win.