MACON, Ga. (AP) — Jalan McCloud scored 22 points with four 3-pointers and East Tennessee State ran away from Mercer 74-55 on Sunday to open defense of its Southern Conference championship.
ETSU (10-4) shot 57 percent from the floor (29-for-51) and made 10 of 18 from 3-point range (57 percent). Desonta Bradford and Bo Hodges each scored 12 for the Buccaneers.
It was the fourth-straight win for ETSU against Mercer (7-7, 0-1), having swept the Bears in conference play last season and winning a SoCon quarterfinal.
ETSU broke open a 49-44 game with 12:31 left to play, with David Burrell scoring from 3 to launch a 14-4 run over the next nine minutes, ending with a Peter Jurkin layup.
Jurkin finished with eight points, Burrell seven.
Ria'n Holland scored 12 for Mercer and Desmond Ringer added 10. The Bears shot 39 percent (20-for-51) and made six 3-pointers.