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.