MACON, Ga. -- Travis Smith scored 14 points to help Mercer win its eighth straight game, beating Atlantic Sun Conference foe Northern Kentucky 63-46 Saturday.
Jakob Gollon added 13 points and Langston Hall 12 for the Bears, who secured their first ever back-to-back 20-win seasons. Mercer won 27 games last season.Northern Kentucky opened the game on a 12-4 run, capped by back-to-back 3-pointers from Eshaunte Jones. But the lead was short lived as Mercer (20-9, 13-3) launched a 37-21 run that spanned both halves to take a commanding 41-25 lead.The Norse (9-15, 7-9) never got any closer than eight in the second half.Mercer outshot Northern Kentucky 51 percent (20 of 39) to 34 percent (17 of 50) and held the Norse to just 18 rebounds. The Bears grabbed 35 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end en route to 15 second-chance points.Jones paced Northern Kentucky with 19 points.