BYU basketball welcomes Mercer in second round

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The BYU men’s basketball team will welcome the No. 7 seed Mercer Bears in the NIT’s second-round game at the Marriott Center on Monday night.

BYU forward Brandon Davies shoots over Washington defender Aziz N'Diaye during Tuesday's game at the Marriott Center. (Photo by Chris Bunker)
BYU forward Brandon Davies shoots over Washington defender Aziz N’Diaye during Tuesday’s game at the Marriott Center. (Photo by Chris Bunker)

Mercer (24–11) upset No. 2 seed Tennessee 75–67 on Wednesday night and the Cougars (22–11) are coming off a 90–79 victory over Washington that was led by BYU’s “Big Three,” Brandon Davies, Tyler Haws and Matt Carlino who combined for 79 points.

The Cougars aren’t underestimating the Bears and plan to execute their game plan on the offensive and defensive end after watching Mercer defeat Tennessee.

“They play hard,” Brock Zylstra said. “They know their stuff and they play within themselves. Everything they get is some easy, easy lay-ups… they execute so well.”

Mercer has won a championship in Utah last year, so overlooking them and relying on the altitude isn’t an option for BYU.

“They’re a winning program,” Tyler Haws said. “They know how to win, but we have a good history, too, so it’ll be a battle.”

BYU is still staying together and playing with motivation despite missing the NCAA tournament.

“The one thing that is really impressive about this group of guys is how close they are,” Rose said. “They want to genuinely keep playing and hopefully our effort will show that on Monday night.”

BYU and Mercer will tip off on Monday at 7 p.m MST at the Marriott Center. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNEWS and KSL radio. Students may get in free with an All-Sports Pass or pay $4 without an All-Sports Pass.

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