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BYU basketball to host Mercer Monday

Published: Sunday, Aug. 2 2015 3:13 a.m. MDT

BYU's Matt Carlino dribbles away from Washington's Abdul Gaddy as BYU and Washington play Tuesday, March 19, 2013 in the first round of the NIT in the Marriott Center at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) BYU's Matt Carlino dribbles away from Washington's Abdul Gaddy as BYU and Washington play Tuesday, March 19, 2013 in the first round of the NIT in the Marriott Center at BYU. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

PROVO — Mercer has already made a splash in its first National Invitation Tournament appearance.

The No. 7 seed Bears (24-11) knocked off No. 2 Tennessee, 75-67, in Knoxville, Tenn., Wednesday night to advance to a second-round NIT matchup at No. 3 BYU.

The Cougars and Mercer will meet Monday (7 p.m., MT) at the Marriott Center. The game will be broadcast on ESPN or ESPN2.

BYU (22-11) defeated No. 6 Washington Tuesday night at the Marriott Center in its first-round game.

Mercer, a school based in Macon, Ga., is the regular-season champions of the Atlantic Sun Conference. The Bears suffered a home loss to Florida Gulf Coast in the conference championship game, ending hopes of an NCAA tournament bid.

This season, the Bears defeated Florida State and Alabama — two teams that were also in the 32-team NIT field. Both of those wins came on the road.

BYU fell to Florida State, 88-70, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in November.

Against Tennessee, guard Travis Smith poured in a game-high 25 points for Mercer. Guard Langston Hall and forward Daniel Coursey added 16 and 15, respectively.

Going into this week's games, Mercer ranked No. 12 nationally in free-throw shooting (75.7 percent) and No. 35 in 3-pointers made (249). The Bears score 1.09 points per possession, which is No. 33 in the nation.

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