Ervin Mitchell delivered 37 points in Genesee's Western New York Athletic Conference opener on Tuesday night and the #18 Cougars defeated #17 Mercyhurst North East, 101-94.
Alastair Cole scored six of GCC's first seven points to help Genesee to an early lead and the Cougars got off to a 12-3 start.
Genesee built a 38-26 lead late in the first half behind nine quick points from Naquil Jones before Mercyhurst used an 8-0 run to trim the lead and get back to within four. GCC led 42-36 at the break.
Thanks in part to a solid rebounding effort, the Cougars held Mercyhurst to limited second-chance points and built a 74-54 lead midway through the final period. Jones led the way for GCC on the glass, collecting a game-high 12 rebounds and Genesee out-rebounded the Saints 52-37 on the night.
Mercyhurst continued to fight and used a 29-18 run in a span of six-minutes to cut the GCC lead down to nine. The Cougars were able to ice the game at the free-throw line down the stretch, including key late free-throws from Mitchell, who was 15-18 from the charity stripe in the game.
The Cougars scored 100 or more points for the seventh time this season.
Mitchell added six boards to his game-high points total, Jones finished with a double-double (21 points and 12 rebounds), Cole finished with 14 points, Alex Morris added 10 points and eight boards and Da'Shawn Suber grabbed nine rebounds.
Genesee improves to 15-2 on the year and 1-0 in WNYAC play. The Cougars will travel to #14 Niagara County Community College on Thursday night for a 7:30 p.m. tip.