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NCAA Game Summary - Mercer vs. Duke



(Friday, March 21st)

Final Score: Mercer 78, Duke 71

Raleigh, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Jakob Gollon scored 20 points and Daniel Coursey added 17, as Mercer pulled off a stunning 78-71 upset of Duke in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Bears closed the contest on a 20-8 run to become the second straight Atlantic Sun team to provide an NCAA surprise. Last year, it was Florida Gulf Coast that knocked off second-seeded Georgetown on the way to the Sweet 16.

Duke, which finished the season ranked eighth in the country, lost its NCAA Tournament opener for the second time in three years. In 2012 as a No. 2 seed, the Blue Devils were beaten by Lehigh.

This year, Duke was seeded third in the Midwest Region after a season in which the Blue Devils began the campaign ranked fourth and dropped down to No. 23 in mid-January before a late-season surge that ended with a loss to Virginia in the ACC Tournament title game.

The Blue Devils usually lived and died by the three-point shot and Friday was no different. It kept them in the game early and was their undoing in the end.

Duke held a 63-58 lead with just under five minutes remaining after Tyler Thornton drained three free throws, but Mercer was undeterred and began its rally by scoring the next 11 points.

Coursey's bucket pulled the Bears within three and Duke followed with a pair of empty trips -- including a missed three -- before Anthony White Jr.'s trey tied it with 2:43 left. Jabari Parker missed a three for Duke and the Bears moved in front with 1:54 to play when Gollon converted both ends of a 1-and-1.

Rodney Hood was called for traveling on Duke's next possession and the Bears extended the margin when Langston Hall threaded a perfect pass to Coursey, who converted a three-point play to make it 68-63 with 1:07 remaining.

Andre Dawkins misfired from beyond the arc and Hall connected on 1-of-2 free throws for a six-point lead with 53 seconds left.

Rasheed Sulaimon's three-point play pulled Duke within three and the Bears beat the press with a long inbound pass that led to White's layup. After Sulaimon missed, White corralled the rebound and drained a pair from the line with 36 seconds left for a 73-66 lead.

A dunk by Parker made it a five-point difference and Duke came up with a steal but lost the ball out of bounds. White made one from the stripe and Sulaimon missed a pair of shots from beyond the arc around two free throws from Gollon that sealed the improbable victory, Mercer's first in three NCAA Tournament appearances.

Gollon made each of his nine free throws and Mercer connected 23-of-28 from the line overall while also shooting 55.6 percent from the field. White finished with 13 points and Hall chipped in 11 for the 14th-seeded Bears (27-8), who are in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1985 and will meet Tennessee in a third-round matchup Sunday.

"Our guys continue to believe at such a high level in each other and their own skill set," said Mercer head coach Bob Hoffman.

Duke shot a dismal 35.5 percent overall and made 15-of-37 from beyond the arc. Quinn Cook scored 23 points and Sulaimon added 20 for the Blue Devils (26-9), who were playing their 19th straight NCAA Tournament and were denied the program's 100th tourney victory.

Parker, the heralded freshman who may have played his only NCAA Tournament game, finished with 14 points. He made just 4-of-14 from the field and added seven rebounds in defeat.

It was just the fifth time the Blue Devils were ousted after one game in the NCAA Tournament under coach Mike Krzyzewski. In addition to the 2012 shocker, Duke also lost its tourney opener in 2007, 1996 and 1984.

"Congratulations to Mercer ... they're really a good basketball team. We knew that coming in," said Krzyzewski. "We couldn't get anything inside against them. And I'm disappointed for our team because I thought -- it wasn't easy, like Hood and Parker did not have easy games tonight and our backcourt, our guys played their hearts out and so did those two kids. And we showed our youth, I thought. You know, we got that 65-60 lead and they showed their maturity during that time."

Mercer, with its senior-laded squad, showed it would not be intimated right away as White answered Sulaimon's game-opening three with one for the Bears. Three free throws by Hall gave Mercer its first lead at 12-9 just 6 1/2 minutes into the contest, but Cook followed with a trey for Duke and came up with a steal and a layup to again put the Blue Devils on top.

Duke opened a small cushion with a 12-3 run fueled by triples from Cook, Sulaimon and Hood for a 26-20 margin. The lead reached seven a couple of times, but Mercer closed the half with a 7-2 run to pull within 35-34 at the break.

After Cook started the second half with a three, the Bears scored seven straight to grab a 41-38 lead. Two free throws by Gollon a few minutes later gave Mercer its largest advantage to that point, 45-40. Duke responded with the next eight, but could never pull away.

"They stayed together all 40 minutes," Cook said about Mercer. "It was a game of runs and both teams made runs and they stayed together. When we went up 65-60, they could have easily splintered, but like coach said, their leadership stepped up and they're a veteran team and they play together."

Game Notes

Mercer lost to Georgia Tech in the first round of the 1985 tournament and also fell to Arkansas in its first NCAA appearance in 1981 ... Duke reached the Elite Eight last year and lost to eventual national champion Louisville in the regional final ... The schools met for the first time since a 126-64 Duke rout on Dec. 21, 1997 in Durham ... Mercer beat Florida Gulf Coast in the A-Sun title game after losing in the tournament championship game last year ... Both of Duke's tourney-opening losses in the last three years came close to home, as Lehigh beat Duke in Greensboro two years ago and Friday's defeat came only about 20 miles from the Blue Devils' campus in Raleigh.

03/21 17:14:31 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCCU 65
EILL 40
Final
NCSU 60
BSU 54
Final
PIT 2
CAR 4
Final
CHA 101
GSW 106
Final
UF 64
UNC 75
 
3rd
TULSA 17
ECU 28
 
Final
BOS 102
CHI 109
Final
CHA 101
GSW 106
Final
TOR 102
DAL 106
 
Final
DET 88
MIL 104
 
Final
ATL 100
NOP 91
 
Final
HOU 85
LAC 102
 
Final
OKC 105
NYK 78
 
Final
IND 98
ORL 83
 
4th
SAN 112
SAC 102
 
3rd
DEN 93
PHO 64
 
2nd
POR 33
MEM 32
 
1st
LAL 11
MIN 8
 
Final
WMICH 21
NILL 31
Final
SMU 9
HOU 35
Final
IOWA 34
NEB 37
Final
SFLA 0
UCF 16
Final
MARS 66
WKENT 67
Final
KSU 27
AKR 24
Final
BGU 24
BST 41
Final
UMASS 21
BUF 41
Final
EMICH 16
TOL 52
Final
MIZZ 21
ARK 14
Final
SALABAMA 40
NAVY 42
Final
ARZ 42
ARST 35
Final
AFA 27
COLST 24
Final
UCLA 10
STAN 31
3rd
VT 10
UVA 13
 
3rd
TULSA 17
ECU 28
 
Final
NCCU 65
EILL 40
Final
KU 82
TENN 67
Final
TEXAM 87
NO 65
 
Final
NCAT 57
RAD 65
 
Final
GEOR 58
BUT 64
Final
BRO 81
PVU 71
Final
RIU 66
SCU 44
Final
NARZ 70
SOUTH 63
Final
DART 68
MAST 67
Final
WRST 59
FIU 61
Final
XAV 73
UTEP 77
Final
OSU 73
JMU 56
Final
TXSOU 71
LAM 59
 
Final
TAMCC 75
MVSU 66
 
Final
AKAN 51
MIZST 55
Final
BUCK 80
PSU 88
 
Final
PROV 72
YALE 66
Final
UGA 62
MINN 66
Final
WISC 69
OKLA 56
Final
Terriers 70
NORST 72
 
Final
PEAY 62
STEPH 83
Final
FSU 58
CSOU 47
 
Final
VALPO 66
DRAK 46
Final
CIN 69
MTST 51
Final
SDU 75
PRIN 65
Final
WASU 76
RICE 74
Final
CSFU 64
USCU 79
Final
GT 61
RIDE 54
 
Final
TXPA 79
ALAST 91
Final
NCSU 60
BSU 54
Final
TCU 57
BRAD 49
 
Final
WAKE 65
DELST 72
 
Final
HART 83
EMERSON 50
 
Final
STJ 66
GONZ 73
 
Final
CLEM 62
HIGH 59
 
Final
SYR 72
HC 48
 
Final
MD 61
MON 56
Final
JVST 74
SAV 71
 
Final
MIAMI 87
SALA 75
Final
RUTG 68
VANDY 65
 
Final
PETE 66
TENST 58
 
Final
MARS 59
CLST 68
 
Final
JST 56
HOF 86
 
Final
INDST 62
MEM 72
 
Final
UF 64
UNC 75
 
Final
LATU 77
SAMF 64
 
Final
TULA 71
SELA 61
 
Final
NEB 75
TENNM 64
 
Final
MISS 75
CREI 68
 
Final
PORT 64
MURST 61
 
2nd
MARQ 55
MSU 65
 
2nd
ARK 70
UNT 60
 
2nd
NCOL 76
STET 58
 
2nd
IND 77
UNCG 68
 
2nd
SJST 53
WMICH 74
 
2nd
MNTST 87
TXARL 63
 
2nd
UVA 45
LAS 26
 
2nd
STLU 31
MSST 42
 
2nd
COLST 45
PAC 37
 
1st
UTAH 26
NDAK 20
 
1st
ILL 0
BAY 0
 
1st
UAB 3
UCLA 11
 
11:30pm Tonight
WASH
LBSU
11:59pm Tonight
UCSB
MERC
Final
PHI 0
NYR 3
Final
ANA 1
CHI 4
Final
WAS 5
NYI 2
Final
PIT 2
CAR 4
Final
NJD 4
DET 5
 
Final
BUF 2
MON 1
 
Final
CLB 0
VAN 5
 
Final
BOS 2
WIN 1
 
Final
FLA 3
OTT 2
 
Final
STL 4
EDM 3
 
3rd
DAL 3
MIN 3