Brian Mills made a layup with 3.3 seconds remaining to lift Mercer over Kennesaw State 57-55 on Tuesday night.
The Bears (12-15, 9-7 Atlantic Sun), who led 31-23 at halftime, pushed their lead to as many as 10 early in the second half.
The Owls (8-19, 6-11), who didn't lead the entire second half, later used a 7-2 run to tie it at 53-53 on Markeith Cummings' jump shot with 2:50 left to play.
Langston Hall's jump shot put Mercer back in the lead, 55-53, with 53 seconds left, but Kennesaw State tied it one last time on
LaDaris Green's tip-in with 15 seconds to play.
Mills finished with 16 points to lead Mercer, which won for the fifth time in its last six games.
Cummings paced the Owls with 30 points and Green added 13 points and 14 rebounds.
Kennesaw State shot 43.8 percent (21 of 48), but turned it over 14 times.