Live blog: Mercer shocks Duke in NCAA 1st round - WRBL

Live blog: Mercer shocks Duke in NCAA 1st round

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RALEIGH, N.C. - Duke and Mercer are playing Friday afternoon at the PNC Arena in Raleigh. Here's a live update.

MERCER WINS: Mercer, in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 29 years, stunned Duke Friday afternoon with a gritty effort that included some clutch play down the stretch.

Every time it looked like the Blue Devils would try to squash Mercer's hopes, the Bears found a way to stay afloat. Mercer tied the score at 63 on a three-pointer and then bolted ahead with some gutsy play and clutch free throws in the final minutes.

Duke's Jabari Parker scored to cut Mercer's lead to 73-68 but Anthony White came back with two free throws with 22.8 seconds showing that helped seal it for Mercer.

MERCER STUNS DUKE: Mercer has stunned Duke 78-71 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament here in Raleigh.

Rasheed Sulaimon scored on a three-point play for Duke, but Mercer came right back with a gutsy long, go-for-broke throw-in and layup. Mercer then added two free throws and Jabari Parker dunked for Duke. It's 73-68 Mercer now and Mercer has the ball with 29.9 seconds to go.

Mercer now leads Duke 65-63 with only 1:10 to play and Mercer has the ball. Mercer's big man Daniel Coursey just scored and was fouled with a minute to play. Mercer up, 68-63.

Duke, thanks to an 8-0 run, just shot back into the lead. Right now it's 48-47 Blue Devils with 12:18 to play.

Duke has been pressing fullcourt in an effort to rattle Mercer, and that's caused some turnovers.

This game continues to be amazingly tough for the Blue Devils, who now trail Mercer 45-40 at the PNC Arena. There's still more than 15 minutes to play, so a great deal can change, but Mercer looks confident running its offense against the Blue Devils, and Duke's efforts to hunker down on defense don't seem to be impressing Mercer so far.

Mercer actually led late in the first half, but Duke got an inside bucket from Jabari Parker to take a 35-34 lead at halftime.

Mercer is playing with a lot of poise and confidence so far and working the ball in and around the Duke defense for baskets. Duke, meanwhile, is getting many of its points from long range - the Blue Devils are 8 of 21 from three-point range.

The Blue Devils also have an astounding 11 offensive rebounds - Mercer only has one. Amile Jefferson has five offensive rebounds for the Devils.

Rasheed Sulaimon has the hot hand for Duke with 12 points and Parker has seven. Guard Ike Nwamu has 11 points to pace Mercer.

So did you pick Mercer in your bracket?

Probably not. But right now, Mercer is hanging with Duke early in an NCAA Tournament game being played at Raleigh's PNC Arena.

It's 26-20 Blue Devils in front of a loud, and surprised, crowd at the Raleigh venue.

Rasheed Sulaimon is on fire for Duke and has 12 points as he is bombing away for the Blue Devils.

Today's winner plays Sunday in the second round.

Duke has seven three-pointers already in the game.

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