TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- James Florence stole the ball with 9 seconds left and sank two free throws to seal Mercer's 72-69 win over Alabama Sunday night.
The Crimson Tide, playing their season opener, held a one-point lead when Calvin Henry's layup with 13 seconds left put the Bears (2-0) on top. Florence's steal was his first of the game, but he scored 11 of his 23 points from the free throw line.Alabama's Ronald Steele, who led all scorers with 25 points, missed a 3-point attempt as time ran out.The teams were tied at 33 at halftime, then Mercer built the largest lead of the game, 60-51, with 6:18 left. The Crimson Tide went on a 7-0 run, eventually pulling ahead 67-65 on three Steele free throws with 1:42 remaining. Daniel Emerson, who had 18 points, restored Mercer's lead with a layup.The Bears out rebounded Alabama 56-38.