Second half drought costs JU in 70-68 overtime loss to Mercer
Tevin Galvin’s desperation tip-in at the buzzer in overtime rimmed out as Mercer rallied for a 70-68 win over Jacksonville in Atlantic Sun Conference play on Thursday night.

Brian Mills had a game-high 24 points for Mercer (6-13, 3-5 A-Sun) to lead the Bears back from a 10-point halftime deficit.

JU (11-6, 5-3 A-Sun) had four players in double figures, led by Glenn Powell’s 16 points and eight rebounds. The Dolphins scored just 19 points in the second half, scoring just two points in the first eight minutes of the second half.

“We were a completely different team mentally and physically in the second half,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “As a team, we got tentative in the second half. We’ve got to be more aggressive.”

JU hit just 6-of-26 from the floor in the second half, and turned the ball over 11 times. Mercer used that defensive spurt to get back into the game, cashing them in for 15 points.

Mercer opened the second half on a 20-5 run, taking its first lead of the game on a Brian Mills jumper with 15:40 left in the second half and eventually built a 49-45 lead with 14:15 left in the game.

Jacksonville rallied to retake the lead by four, 57-53, with 6:17 left in the game on an Ayron Hardy 3-pointer.

It remained that way until Langston Hall hit a 3-pointer with 2:28 left to tie the game at 61 and Mark Hall gave the Bears a 62-61 lead with 1:03 left by making one of two free throws.

Travis Cohn tied the game at 62 by making one of two with 16 seconds left to force overtime.

In the extra session, Glenn Powell dunked home a beautiful pass from Russell Powell on the opening possession to give JU the lead, 64-62. From there, Mercer scored seven straight to take a 69-64 lead with 2:02 left in the game.

The Dolphins rallied to cut the deficit to one at Keith McDougald hit a floater on the baseline with 1:09 left. McDougald missed a jumper with 1.2 seconds left that would have given JU the lead, but a foul extended the game.

Mills made the second of two free throws to put Mercer up 70-68 and Tevin Galvin got a length of the court pass but couldn’t get the five foot jumper to fall.

Hardy had 14 points and six rebounds for JU, with Cohn adding 10 and Russell Powell chipping in with 13 points and four assists.

Mills was joined in double figures by Jeff Smith, who had 19 points.

The Dolphins have a quick turnaround as they travel to face Kennesaw State on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.