HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- 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.
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