MOBILE, Ala. -- Bruce Massey turned in 12 points as Middle Tennessee held off South Alabama's late charge and escaped with a 60-56 victory in Sun Belt Conference action Saturday night.
The Blue Raiders (12-4, 4-1) led 29-28 at the intermission but opened the second half with an 11-2 run. Middle Tennessee built the lead all the way to 15, 50-35, when the Jaguars (7-7, 4-2) began to push back.
Javier Carter's tip-in cut the Blue Raiders' lead to 58-49 with 3:36 left. Augustine Rubit followed with two free throws, then Freddie Goldstein drained a 3 and Antoine Allen made a layup to pull South Alabama within 58-56 with 1:41 left. The Jaguars attempted three more shots and missed them all while Massey hit a pair of free throws for the final four-point lead.
Rubit led South Alabama with 14 rebounds and added 10 points, while Mychal Ammons added 15 points.
Maryland point guard Melo Trimble, considered a lock to leave the program before struggling in the second half last season, has withdrawn from the NBA draft and will return for his junior season.
Louisville's Chinanu Onuaku, who recently underwent a medical procedure to correct a heart rhythm issue detected during the combine, will keep his name in the NBA draft pool.
Andrew White III will return to the Nebraska men's basketball team next season after removing his name from the NBA draft.
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