That two-point lead slipped away as a 17-4 run gave the Bears the lead en route to a 75-65 victory at the University Center on Monday night.
Four Dolphins scored in double figures, led by 14 points from Aloys Cabell and Glenn Powell. But they were unable to overcome the four Bears in double figures, led by Justin Cecil’s game-high 16 points.
“We had a chance late, we weren’t able to come up with the plays we needed to finish the game,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “Mercer is a good team and they hit the shots they needed.”
Mercer was on fire shooting all night, hitting its first six shots en route to going 23-of-36 from the floor (63.9 percent), including 14-of-20 in the first half.
Trailing by seven at the half, JU came roaring out of the locker room – scoring the first five points and used an 8-0 run midway through the half to take a 49-47 lead on a Glenn Powell jumper.
From there, Mercer answered with the 17-4 run over the next six minutes to take a 64-53 lead on a 3-pointer by Bud Thomas.
The Dolphins were unable to recover, getting the deficit down to nine, but could not get any closer.
Delwan Graham had 11 points off the bench and Tevin Galvin had 10 for JU, with Glenn Powell recording a game-high eight rebounds.
Jacksonville trailed at the half, 41-34, as Cecil scored 14 points despite turning the ball over eight times.
Langston Hall scored 15 points, with Jakob Gollon had 13 and Daniel Coursey chipping in with 11.
The Dolphins hit the road again when they face perennial A-Sun power Belmont on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.