EL PASO, Texas – Ebony Rowe scored 25 points and grabbed 14 rebounds and Olivia Jones had a double-double as No. 22 Middle Tennessee turned back 13th-seeded Florida International 64-57 in the semifinals of the Conference USA tournament on Friday.
Jones had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the top-seeded Blue Raiders (28-4).
Rowe had five points as Middle Tennessee scored the last six points of the first half for a 32-25 lead. Her basket 4 minutes into the second half made it 40-30. The Golden Panthers (15-18), playing their fourth game in four days, hung around until China Dow and Rowe scored four points each in an 8-0 burst that made it 56-43 with 5:37 left.
FIU, despite shooting 29 percent, was still within striking distance until MTSU made 6 of 8 free throws in the last minute.
Jerica Coley had 19 points and 12 rebounds for FIU.