- Associated Press - Saturday, January 7, 2017

MACON, Ga. (AP) - T.J. Cromer scored 23 points and Desonta Bradford had 15 points to lead East Tennessee State past Mercer 67-58 on Saturday.

With the score tied at 27, Cromer hit a 3, a layup and another 3 to give East Tennessee State a 35-30 lead. The Bears then responded with a 12-0 run and led 42-35 with 11:41 to play.

Bradford’s layup with 6:57 left gave East Tennessee State (13-3, 3-0 Southern Conference) the lead for good at 48-47. He followed with a dunk and Cromer added a 3 capping an 18-5 Buccaneers run.

Jordan Strawberry added a layup and Mercer (7-10, 1-3) couldn’t get closer.

The Buccaneers are off to their best start since the 1990-91 season when they opened the year 14-1. ETSU won 21 of its first 23 games that season and reached No. 10 in the national rankings.

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