MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) Neiko Hunter scored 20 points and Kerry Hammonds II added 19, including two key late free throws as Middle Tennessee held off Southern University for a 78-75 victory Sunday night.
The Blue Raiders (1-0) jumped out to an early 14-2 lead, but Southern climbed back to take a four-point advantage at half.
The Jaguars (0-2) extended their lead to 45-35 early in the second half, but Middle Tennessee used a 26-16 run to tie it with 5:25 remaining.
Middle Tennessee tried to put the game out of reach multiple times in the last three minutes, but Southern wouldn't go down easy, pulling within two on a 3-pointer by Tre Lynch.
Following a pair of free throws by Tweety Knight, Lynch hit another triple to make the score 75-76 with ten seconds to play.
Hammonds II hit two more free throws, and Lynch missed the potential game-tying 3-pointer as time expired.