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UAB openers Conference USA play with 54-49 win over Middle Tennessee


MURFREESBORO, Tennessee — Robert Brown scored 13 points and Hakeem Baxter 11 on Sunday and UAB pulled out a 54-49 win over Middle Tennessee in the Conference USA opener for both teams.

The Blazers (5-9) ended a three-game losing streak by making the clutch plays down the stretch, starting with Nick Norton's only basket, a 3-pointer with 2:52 left that broke a 43-43 tie. The Blazers hit 13-straight free throws until missing two with 31 seconds left, and finished 18-22 from the line.

Jaqawn Raymond hit 5 of 8 shots and led the Blue Raiders (7-7) with 14 points but the other starters were 3 of 24 from the floor. There was no help on the bench as Middle Tennessee shot 27 percent for the game. Giddy Potts had 12 points off the bench.

The team teams combined for 10 total field goals in the second half.

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