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Harcum 93 Mercer 67.

Postgame audio - Coach Howie Levy:

Winners of seven straight, Mercer County Community College was unable to slow down 24-0 Harcum on Tuesday night. The Bears from Bryn Mawr, ranked #1 in the NJCAA Divsion I men's basketball poll, raced to a 14-2 lead and the Vikings were unable to play the game at the pace they needed to stay close.

"You can't replicate what they do in practice, that's for sure," said Mercer head coach Howie Levy. "We've had a terrific year, we've played real well, but we've never faced anything like that."

By the time the Vikings settled down on both ends of the floor, the deficit was significant. Two baskets and two free throws following a technical foul on Harcum's Jeremiah Bowman drew Mercer within 33-25, but the Vikings could not get a stop - slapping out a defensive rebound did not create a transition opportunity that might have pulled Mercer closer. Instead a Harcum forward happily accepted the ball at the top of the arc and sized up a three that took the lead back to double figures.

As the Bears sent wave after wave of players into the rotation, Mercer was unable to contain all of Harcum's weapons and slow the Bears' repeated breakouts. In addition to a cadre of quick guards flying all over the court, Harcum also boasted the interior presences of 6'11" Diyaaldin Kelley and 6'10" Dutch center Berend Weijs.

A basket by Mercer's Paco Boussougou, fouled by Wilbur O'Neal on the play, made it a 64-52 score midway through the second half, but a swift 13-2 run cued by Harcum's swarming defense erased any thought of a comeback.

"It's pressure that [we] haven't seen all year and hopefully won't see again," Levy said of the Bears' active full court attack.

Mercer (17-12) will open Region XIX Tournament play on Wednesday night. The location of this game and the Vikings' opponent will be known on Monday.

Photos from today’s game courtesy of Stephen Goldsmith after the jump.

Site editor Jon Solomon and former Princeton assistant Robert Burke.

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