MACON, Ga. (AP) -- Bud Thomas scored a career-high 18 points and Mercer held off Emory 66-57 on Saturday in the Bears' season opener.
The Division III Eagles led 18-14 with 11:49 to play before halftime, but Mercer took a 36-27 lead into the break.
Despite trailing by as many as 12 early in the second half, Emory got within a point twice, the last time at 55-54 with 2:48 left. The Bears answered with a 3-pointer by Thomas and three straight free throws by Jakob Gollon, who had 10 points.
Daniel Coursey scored a career-high 13 points, hitting 5 of 7 from the floor, as Mercer made 26 of 57 field goals (45.6 percent).
The Eagles, led by Austin Claunch with 13 points, shot only 31.2 percent (20 of 64) from the field.
The Bears, who won their fifth straight season opener, outrebounded Emory 44-30 and had a 44-18 advantage in the paint.