McCloud helps ETSU defeat Mercer 74-55 in SoCon opener
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.