MACON, Ga. -- Sophomore guard Brett Comer scored 21 points, helping Florida Gulf Coast claim its first NCAA Tournament bid with an 88-75 victory over Mercer in the championship game of the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Saturday at Hawkins Arena.
Sherwood Brown, the A-Sun player of the year, added 16 points and 11 rebounds for Florida Gulf Coast (24-10), which reached the A-Sun final for the second time in its second year of NCAA Division I postseason eligibility.
Senior guard Travis Smith scored 16 points to lead Mercer (23-11), which was bidding for its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1985
Florida Gulf Coast led, 38-36, at the break after shooting 46.4 percent from the field and making 5-of-8 from 3-point range in the opening half.
Mercer jumped out to an 11-3 lead five minutes into the game, but the Eagles closed the gap with a 10-3 run midway through the half.
The Eagles outscored the Bears, 11-2, to open the second half and later mounted a 13-3 run, stretching their lead to 16 when junior forward Chase Fielder converted a 3-point play to put his team ahead, 72-56, with 7:35 remaining.