The Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament officially began on Wednesday with the top two seeds in action. One of them cruised to a blowout victory, while the other struggled before eventually picking up a 10-point win.
The Mercer Bears, who are the favorites to cut down the nets this weekend, picked up an 82-48 win over Lipscomb to advance to the semifinals. The outcome was never really in question, and a 49-23 scoring differential in the second half ensured the Bears would not be upset.
Mercer used a balanced scoring attack on Wednesday night, having seven players score seven points or more.
The other game was between No. 2 Florida Gulf Coast and No. 7 North Florida. Despite 29 points from UNF's Parker Smith, FGCU was able to pull out the win, 73-63, with a couple of strong defensive possessions late in the game. Chase Fieler had a big game for the Eagles, scoring 22 points and bringing down nine rebounds, six of which were offensive.
On Thursday, No. 3 Stetson faces No. 6 ETSU. In the nightcap, No. 4 Jacksonville squares off with No. 5 USC Upstate. The winners of these games will face Florida Gulf Coast and Mercer on Friday.