Mercer tops rival Georgia Southern in Savannah Invite opener
MACON, Ga. (AP) Ria'n Holland scored 18 points, all five Mercer starters scored in double figures and the Bears beat rival Georgia Southern 80-67 on Sunday in an opening-round game of the Savannah Invitational.
It was the 114th meeting in the series - but just the first since 2007.
Holland, Stephon Jelks (15 points), Desmond Ringer (14 points), Demetre Rivers (13) and Jordan Strawberry (13) combined to outscore Georgia Southern's starters 73-46. Andrew Fishler was the only Mercer (2-1) reserve to score.
The Bears were just 5 of 21 from distance but made 27 of 32 free-throw attempts.
Ike Smith scored 19 points, B.J. Gladden had 16 and Tookie Brown added 15 for Georgia Southern (1-2). Brown made 5 of 9 3-pointers and Gladden had seven rebounds and four blocks. The Eagles were held to 36.8 percent shooting.
The Invite is an eight-team, two-bracket event.