Smith’s shot lifts Jacksonville over Mercer 72-70
MACON, Ga. (AP)—Ben Smith hit a 15-foot jumper as time expired and Jacksonville held off a late rally to beat Mercer 72-70 on Saturday.
The Dolphins (7-8, 4-0 Atlantic Sun Conference) took a 16-point lead with 7:25 left in the second half on a 3-pointer by Evan Jefferson, who finished with 10 points.
But Mercer (7-9, 2-1) went on a 21-6 run over the next six minutes, claiming a 68-67 lead on a shot from beyond the arc by James Florence, who had 14 points and seven rebounds.
Smith, who scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, made a free throw with 28 seconds left to give Jacksonville a 70-68 lead. Nine-seconds later, the Bears tied the game on Calvin Henry’s layup.
Then Smith followed with his game-winning shot for the Dolphins. Marcus Allen scored 14 points for Jacksonville and Lehmon Colbert added 12.
Shaddean Aaron led Mercer with 18 points. Henry scored 15 points, while Sam Dolan had 11 and Brian Pfohl added 10.