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.
Former Kentucky guard Ed Davender, the only Wildcat with at least 1,500 points and 400 assists, has died. He was 49.
Guard Naz Mitrou-Long, whose 2015-16 season ended in December due to hip problems, has been granted a hardship waiver for the coming season, Iowa State said.
As the Sooners look to life without superstar Buddy Hield and his sidekicks, it's clear their unseasoned players will need to grow up fast.