DELAND, Fla. -- Travis Smith scored 15 points to lead five Mercer starters in double figures as the Bears beat Stetson 77-65 Saturday in each team's season finale to claim their first Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season championship since 2002-03.
On top 55-50 with just over 7 minutes to play, Mercer used a 12-2 run, capped by Thomas' 3-pointer to extend its lead to 67-52 with 3:25 remaining. The Bears led by double figures the rest of the way.
Mercer shot 50 percent (27 of 54) compared to Stetson's 38.5 percent (20 of 52), and the Bears held a 17-10 advantage on turnovers.
Joel Naburgs scored 14 points to lead the Hatters (14-15, 11-7), who had their four-game winning streak snapped.
Shooting guard Jaylen Nowell, ranked No. 45 in the ESPN 100, chose the Washington Huskies on Wednesday over California. As a junior he led Garfield Heights to a state championship and was named MVP of the tournament.
Donnie Tyndall has filed an appeal to reverse the 10-year show cause penalty he received from the NCAA in April for violations that occurred while he was coaching Southern Mississippi.
Top-50 prospect Jaylen Nowell committed to Washington on Wednesday. Nowell, a shooting guard, is No. 45 on the ESPN 100.