UCF, Mercer advance in A-Sun tourney

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 6, 2003

Jacksonville State's (20-10) as an Atlantic Sun Conference member came to

an end in the first game of the conference tournament Thursday. Central Florida (20-10) forced the Gamecocks to 30 percent shooting from

the field as the Golden Knights advance to the second round with a 68-51

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win. UCF will play Mercer today at 5 p.m.

UCF took control of a close game with a 12-0 run in the second half. The

Golden Knights scored 12 straight points, 10 of them by Ed Dotson, to

take a 42-30 lead with 14:15 to play in the game.

The Gamecocks closed the game to 43-39, but UCF went on a 17-6 run to

increase the lead to 60-45.

Mercer 73, Jacksonville 57

Mercer avoided the upset bug and won their 23rd game of the season, as

many losses as the Bears had last year, with a 73-57 win over Jacksonville (14-15).

Jacksonville's Calvin Warner was suspended before the game and without

their leading rebounder, the Dolphins looked out of place. Mercer

outrebounded Jacksonville 46-25.

Mercer missed its first 11 two-point attempts and shot 5-for-22 from the

field through most of the first half.

However, because of their rebounding advantage, Mercer trailed only 18-16. From there, Mercer outscored Jacksonville 16-5 to end the half.

Once there, the Bears continued to extend the lead. Aleem Muhammad scored

17 points and Clarence Baker and Delmar Wilson each added 13. Wesley Duke

scored only nine points, but also grabbed 10 rebounds.

Mercer will play UCF for the third time this season tonight at 5 p.m.