Denton, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Led by 18 points from Kerry Hammonds, the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders outlasted the North Texas Mean Green, 70-63, in a Conference USA clash at UNT Coliseum.
For the Blue Raiders (13-7, 3-2 C-USA), Neiko Hunter added 13 points, Jaqawn Raymond finished with 12 points and Tweety Knight scored 11.
Jordan Williams led the Mean Green (11-9, 2-4) with 16 points, while Vertrail Vaughns scored 11 points and Maurice Aniefiok chipped in with 10 points.
North Texas shot 52.2 percent from the field and knocked down 5-of-9 from 3- point range in the opening period, as the Mean Green took a 32-28 lead into intermission. Middle Tennessee made 44.4 percent of its field goal tries and 3-of-7 from beyond the arc before halftime.
In the second half, the Blue Raiders caught fire, connecting on 59.1 percent of their shots from the field. The Mean Green struggled after the break, shooting just 35.7 percent and missing all but one of their eight 3-point tries. After taking the lead for good early in the half, Middle Tennessee pushed its advantage to as many as 13 points before North Texas made a late run, getting to within four twice in the final two minutes, but the Blue Raiders held on to escape with the victory.
The Blue Raiders had the edge in the paint, outscoring the Mean Green, 32-24. Middle Tennessee also finished the game with a 35-26 rebounding advantage.