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Mercer holds off UNC Wilmington 77-73

MACON, Ga. (AP) Ross Cummings hit four 3-pointers and scored 18 points and Jaylen Stowe and Luke Hamilton added 10 points apiece to propel Mercer to a 77-73 victory over UNC Wilmington on Friday night.

Stowe and Hamilton combined to make 8 of 9 shots for the Bears (5-7), who shot 53 percent from the floor and nailed 11 of 23 from 3-point range (48 percent).

Devontae Cacok notched his seventh double-double of the season for the Seahawks (4-9) with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Jeantal Cylla scored 19 with 10 boards for his first. Jay Estime' and Jaylen Sims scored 10 each and freshman Kai Toews had 11 assists.

UNC Wilmington led 33-31 at halftime and used Estime's 3-pointer to pull even at 71 with 1:13 remaining. Hamilton buried a 3 and added 1 of 2 free throws to put Mercer up 75-71 with 13 seconds left. Cummings sank two free throws with six seconds to go to seal it.

Both teams turned the ball over 11 times, but Mercer had a 22-7 advantage in points off turnovers. The two teams squared off for the first time since 1977.

Under coach Bob Hoffman, Mercer has won 203 games over the past 10-plus seasons, making the Bears the winningest Division I program in Georgia during that time. Hoffman needs 20 more wins to pass Bill Bibb (1974-89) for most in school history.

Updated December 21, 2018

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