DENVER, Colo. - Mercer junior center Daniel Coursey scored a season-high 11 points as the Mercer men's basketball team fell in non-conference play to Denver, 69-40 on Wednesday night at Magness Arena.
Mercer's loss dropped the Bears to 4-5 on the year while Denver snapped a four-game losing streak and moved to 2-5.
Denver started strong offensively, converting three of its first four field goals to move out to an 8-5 lead in the opening minutes of play. Mercer tied matters at eight briefly, but the Pioneers retaliated with five-straight points to go back on top, 13-8, at the second media timeout of the half.
When Mercer returned to the floor, Colorado native Bud Thomas knocked down a three from the corner and Coursey converted an old-fashioned three-point play to bring the Bears within one (15-14). That was as close as the visitors would get, however, as Denver employed a 15-1 charge that lasted nearly eight minutes of game time to move in front 30-15.
At the outset of the second half, the Bears went inside and got scores from Coursey on its first two possessions, but couldn't make any dent into the deficit as Denver got buckets on its first two possessions, as well.
Five-straight Denver points pushed the hosts lead to 47-27 at the 12:00 juncture, and the Pioneers retained at least an 18-point advantage the rest of the way.
Coursey also notched two blocks in the loss, moving his career total to 101. His 101 career rejections ties Justin Howard for fourth-place among Mercer's all-time career leaders in the category.
Junior guard Langston Hall chipped in seven points, an assist and a steal while Jakob Gollon tallied six points, three steals and two assists.
Mercer returns home for its next contest, hosting Alabama A&M on December 8. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.