C-USA leader Middle Tennessee holds off Southern Miss, 72-62

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — Nick King scored his ninth double-double of the season and Middle Tennessee put the defensive clamps on Southern Mississippi late to earn a 72-62 victory in a Conference USA battle on Thursday night.

The victory keeps Middle Tennessee (21-5, 13-1) alone atop the C-USA standings, a game ahead of Old Dominion (20-2, 11-2).

King scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while the Blue Raiders held Southern Miss scoreless over the final 7:15 of the game.

Giddy Potts drilled a 3 in the closing seconds of the first half to send Middle Tennessee into the break with a 37-36 advantage. King scored seven straight points to put the Blue Raiders up, 60-54 with under nine minutes to play. The Eagles tied the game at 62-62 with 7:15 remaining, but did not score another point the rest of the way, missing 11 shots.

Antwain Johnson and Potts each added 13 points for Middle Tennessee and Tyrik Dixon added 12.

Cortez Edwards scored 15 points to lead Southern Miss (13-14, 6-8), with Dominic Magee adding 12 points and grabbing nine boards.

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