Mercer 75, Tennessee 67: Travis Smith scored 25 points as the Bears continued the SEC's disappointing showing in the NIT, topping the host Volunteers.
Mercer (24-11), a No. 7 seed, got a perfect shooting night from Daniel Coursey, who hit 7-of-7 on his way to 15 points before fouling out. Langston Hall had 16 points and eight assists for the Bears, while Jakob Gollon chipped in with 12.
Tennessee (20-13), a No. 2 seed, was led by Trae Golden's 20 points and Jarnell Stokes' 14 points and 13 rebounds. The Vols outrebounded the Bears 44-32, and recorded 24 offensive boards.
Mercer trailed 27-24 before going on a 10-1 run over the last 2:35 of the first half to take the lead for good. The Bears shot 53.8 percent in the first half, recording 11 assists on their 14 field goals.
The Bears finished shooting 50 percent and had 17 assists on 26 field goals. The Vols had 21 second-chance points but shot 37.3 percent from the field, including 7-of-24 from 3-point range.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Mercer, which won the 2012 College Insider Tournament, has prevailed in sixth straight postseason tournament games. … Tennessee had been 12-0 this season when Golden scored at least 12 points. … The Bears advance to the second round of the NIT, where they will meet Brigham Young.