Bud Thomas scored 16 points and Mercer needed a late run to pull away from Furman for a 66-46 win on Thursday night.
The Bears (2-1), coming off an 81-63 loss at No. 24 Missouri, held the Paladins (2-1) to 24.6 percent shooting from the field (14 of 57) and 3 of 20 from long range.
Both teams started slowly, with the score tied at 14 after more than 16 minutes.
Mercer took a 22-19 lead into the break, then Furman scored the first two baskets of the second half. The Bears regained the advantage, building a 14-point cushion, but the Paladins closed to 46-42 with 6:03 remaining. A 16-2 run gave Mercer a 62-44 lead with 1:28 left.
Daniel Coursey added 11 points and nine rebounds for the Bears, who shot 49 percent from the field (25 of 51).
Bryant Irwin led Furman with 11 points and 11 rebounds.