Pirates fall to Mercer, 70-66

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) – Rian’n Holland scored a career-high 26 points and his 3-pointer with 20 seconds left helped Mercer beat East Carolina 70-66 on Friday in the Barclays Center Classic.

Trailing by nine at halftime, East Carolina rallied to a 66-65 lead on Andre Washington’s free throw. Holland made his 3-pointer after a Mercer timeout, then Demetre Rivers got a big steal on the next possession. Jordan Strawberry iced it for Mercer with two free throws.

Stephon Jelks sparked and capped Mercer’s opening 17-3 run with 3-pointers and the Bears led 31-20 at halftime after shooting 41.9 percent from the floor (13 of 31). ECU didn’t score a field goal for eight- and four-minutes stretches in the half and shot 27 percent.

Rivers, Jelks and Ryan Johnson scored 10 points apiece for the Bears (4-1).

Kentrell Barkley scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Pirates (4-2). B.J. Tyson added 15 points and Washington had 10.

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