Mercer 67, Oglethorpe 44

Justin Cecil scored 14 points and Mercer rallied to beat

Oglethorpe, holding the Stormy Petrels to two points in the final

9:59 of a season-opening 67-44 victory on Friday night.

The Stormy Petrels, a Division III team treating the game as an

exhibition, led 26-23 at halftime and opened the second half with a

3-pointer by Alec Pitts.

Cecil scored two baskets in a 6-0 spurt to tie the game at 29

and the Bears went on an 8-3 run to take the lead for good.

After a 3-pointer by Christian Molinet closed the gap to 44-42

with 9:59 to go, Mercer held Oglethorpe scoreless until a layup by

Erik Strong with 2:53 left made it 62-44.

The Stormy Petrels shot 29.3 percent (17 of 58), including 22.6

percent (7 of 31) in the second half. They were 6-for-30 from

3-point range.

Brandon Moore and Mark Hall added 13 points each for the Bears,

who shot 24 of 49 (49 percent).