Mercer Bears (7-11) vs. East Tennessee State Buccaneers (7-11)
January 14, 2023 4:00 pm EDT
The Line: East Tennessee State Buccaneers -3.5 / Mercer Bears +3.5 ; Over/Under: 138.5
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The Mercer Bears and the East Tennessee State Buccaneers meet Saturday in college basketball action from Freedom Hall Civic Center. Mercer comes into this one at 7-11 overall. The Bears lost to Furman in their last game. As for East Tennessee State, they’re 7-11 as well following a Wednesday win over the Citadel. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Mercer went 6-6 over their first 12 this year, beating Milligan, Winthrop, Robert Morris, Fairfield, Middle Georgia State and Morehead State. The Bears are 1-5 since then with losses to Samford, Chattanooga, Wofford, WCU and Furman.
Matched up against Furman on Wednesday, the Bears were drilled 52-32 in the first half alone. Mercer got a little better after halftime but still lost 84-66. Leading scorer Shannon Grant put up 16 points with six rebounds.
Over on the East Tennessee State side, they were just 4-8 after 12 games with wins over Emory & Henry, Elon, Little Rock and Mars Hill. The Buccaneers are 3-3 since then with wins over Wofford, VMI and the Citadel.
In the Citadel game on Wednesday, the Buccaneers took a 42-28 advantage into the second half. East Tennessee State kept the pressure up with a 54-46 run from there in a 96-74 win. Jordan King went off for 42 points with four rebounds.
PICK: I’ll probably take a stab on East Tennessee State. The Buccaneers are coming off one of their better performances of the year in a blowout win over the Citadel. East Tennessee State has been a mixed bag scoring-wise this year, but they’ve done well in comparable matchups. The Bucs have hit 68 or more points in five of their last eight games. As for Mercer, they haven’t cracked 70 points in five straight games during this losing streak. That said, the Bears should do pretty well here. I like this one to be a fairly high-scoring and competitive matchup if both teams play to their capabilities.