SEC Basketball: Mercer Face Crimson Tide in Home Opener

MACON, Ga. (AP) - Fresh off a stunning upset of 18th-ranked Southern Cal, the Mercer men's basketball team plays host to Alabama tonight at a sold-out University Center in Macon, Georgia.

The Bears hope to open the season 2-and-0 for the first time since Coach Mark Slonaker's first season at the helm of the Bears' program when Mercer topped Piedmont and Winthrop in 1997.

Mercer shocked the Trojans, 96-81, Saturday. It was Mercer's first win against a ranked opponent since a 75-72 win over Number 19 Arkansas-Little Rock on February 23rd, 1989.

The Bears placed five players in double figures, with James Florence pouring in 30 points and going a perfect 6-of-6 from the line.

Alabama is making its first visit to Macon following an 84-72 season-opening win past former Atlantic Sun Conference member Troy Friday night.

The Crimson Tide leads its series with Mercer, 4-1.

The Bears have not beaten Alabama since a 28-23 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament win in 1923.

Tipoff is 6:30 p.m., Central time.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)