JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (AP) -- J. Robert Merritt hit two free throws
in overtime and scored a game-high 21 points, leading Samford to a
68-64 victory over Jacksonville State in the Ohio Valley Conference
opener for both teams on Tuesday night.
Jerry Smith tied the game at 55-55 on a free throw with 6.2
seconds remaining, pushing both teams into overtime as time
expired.The teams tied again at 57-57 before Samford went on a 11-7
surge, hitting 5-of-6 free throws over the final 30 seconds, to
seal the victory.Jon Mills scored 16 points, while Smith added 10 points and 10
rebounds for the Bulldogs (6-6, 1-0).Russell led Jacksonville State (4-9, 0-1) with 18 points and
eight assists. B.J. Spencer added 11 points and Anthony Wilson had
10.Jacksonville State, which trailed by as many as 18 points in the
second half, used a 32-10 run to take its first lead of the night
after Spencer sank a 3-pointer with 8:03 left.