Mid Tenn holds off S. Ala 76-70 behind Yates’ 26 points

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP)—Desmond Yates scored 26 points and Middle Tennessee built a big first-half lead, then held off South Alabama 76-70 Thursday.

Middle Tennessee (12-12, 9-5 Sun Belt) led 43-29 at the half but the Jaguars (20-5, 12-2) cut it to 3, 64-61, with 7:52 left on a layup by Brandon Davis. South Alabama never got closer than 6 the rest of the way.

Yates was 8-of-10 from the floor and 7-of-7 from the free throw line. Kevin Kanaskie scored 18 and Nigel Johnson and Demetrius Green 10 each.

South Alabama was led by Daon Merritt with 16 points, reserve DeAndre Coleman with 13, Ronald Douglas with 12 and Davis with 10.

Middle Tennessee shot 53.1 percent from the floor to 46.8 percent for the Jaguars. ^

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 South Alabama
Daon Merritt Daon Merritt
5-11,  16 Pts
5 Rebs, 3 Assists
 Middle Tenn. St.
Desmond Yates Desmond Yates
8-10,  26 Pts
3 Rebs, 1 Assists

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Thursday, Feb 14