Middle Tennessee defeats Fla. International 80-68

Jason Jones scored 23 points and Middle Tennessee cruised to an 80-68 win over Florida International on Saturday to win its fifth straight game and sweep the season series.

The Blue Raiders (14-12, 9-4 Sun Belt Conference) defeated the Panthers 79-70 on Jan. 29 to begin their current winning streak and have won six of their last seven.

J.T. Sulton added 17 points and nine rebounds for Middle Tennessee, which led 34-26 at the half.

After trailing by 17, FIU (9-16, 4-9) cut the deficit to 64-58 with 2:51 to go, but could get no closer.

Both teams shot well, although the Blue Raiders made 26 of 49 field goals (53.1 percent) compared to 20 of 39 (51.3 percent) for FIU.

Each team hit six 3-pointers and Middle Tennessee made 22 of 34 free throws to the Panthers' 22 of 33.

Phil Taylor scored 21 for FIU, which has lost three in a row and nine of its past 10.