MACON, Ga. -- Travis Smith scored 24 points to lead Mercer to an 82-74 win over South Carolina-Upstate on Saturday.
Smith shot 7 of 10 from the floor and made all eight of his free throws for the Bears (12-8, 5-2 Atlantic Sun Conference), who won their second straight game. Bud Thomas and Jakob Gollon each scored 12 points.
Mercer went into halftime with a 36-29 lead, and then took more control in the second half. The Bears went on a 9-2 run, capped by Monty Brown's layup to claim a 47-35 lead with 14:58 remaining.
Chris Smith knocked down two free throws with 7:58 left to give Mercer a 60-44 lead -- its largest of the game. It was enough cushion to outlast the Spartans (9-10, 3-3), who pulled no closer than eight points the rest of the way.
Maryland point guard Melo Trimble, considered a lock to leave the program before struggling in the second half last season, has withdrawn from the NBA draft and will return for his junior season.
Louisville's Chinanu Onuaku, who recently underwent a medical procedure to correct a heart rhythm issue detected during the combine, will keep his name in the NBA draft pool.
Andrew White III will return to the Nebraska men's basketball team next season after removing his name from the NBA draft.