Bruce Massey turned in 12 points as Middle Tennessee held off South Alabama's late charge and escaped with a 60-56 victory in Sun Belt Conference action Saturday night.
The Blue Raiders (12-4, 4-1) led 29-28 at the intermission but opened the second half with an 11-2 run. Middle Tennessee built the lead all the way to 15, 50-35, when the Jaguars (7-7, 4-2) began to push back.
Javier Carter's tip-in cut the Blue Raiders' lead to 58-49 with 3:36 left. Augustine Rubit followed with two free throws, then Freddie Goldstein drained a 3 and Antoine Allen made a layup to pull South Alabama within 58-56 with 1:41 left. The Jaguars attempted three more shots and missed them all while Massey hit a pair of free throws for the final four-point lead.
Rubit led South Alabama with 14 rebounds and added 10 points, while Mychal Ammons added 15 points.