The Samford men’s basketball team was knocked out from the Southern Conference Tournament with an 87-59 loss to Mercer in the opening round at Harrah’s Cherokee Center.
With the loss, Samford finished its season with an overall record of 6-13.
Forward Logan Dye led Samford with 12 points and eight rebounds. Preston Parks and Marcellus Vail added nine points each.
Mercer was led in scoring by Ross Cummings, Felipe Haase and Leon Ayers III, each of whom netted 17 points.
Ayers also had five assists and Haase collected eight rebounds. James Glisson III added 12 points for the Bears (16-10).
Mercer used a 12-0 run to take a 22-8 lead with 9:19 left in the first half following a 3-pointer by Ayers.
Samford cut the lead to five points at 22-17 with 7:23 left in the first half after a pair of free throws by Dye, but Mercer responded with a run of its own to make the score 37-20 with 1:59 left in the half.
Mercer entered the halftime period with a 39-22 lead.
The Bears pushed their lead to 20 points at 48-28 with 17:35 left following a 3-pointer by Haase.
Mercer never looked back, and continued to increase its advantage, going up 58-35 with 13:38 to play.
The closest Samford would come to overcoming the deficit was at 58-40 with 12:43 to go in the game after a jumper by Parks.
Mercer extended its lead to 34 points at 77-43 with 6:02 left after a 3-pointer by Haase.
Samford would get no closer than 25 points the rest of the way as Mercer closed the game out and earned a 87-59 victory.
The Bulldogs will be back in action under head coach Bucky McMillan in the fall of 2021.
Gunnar Sadowey is the sports editor for the Crimson. He is a senior from Elkhart, IN. Gunnar is currently a journalism and mass communications major with a print concentration and a German minor.