MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Kerry Hammonds scored 27 points, making 10 of 11 shots, to lead Sun Belt Conference front-runner Middle Tennessee over Louisiana-Lafayette 82-60 Saturday night.
The junior guard, who was averaging 4.8 points this season, bettered his previous season high by 16 points and fell one short of his career best, set against South Alabama in his freshman year. He made 6 of 7 3-pointers.
Middle Tennessee (16-4, 8-1) used a 19-2 run to increase a 16-13 lead to 35-15 with 2:43 left in the first half, and it was 41-21 at halftime. Hammonds scored 15 points in the half's final 8:59.
Shawn Long had 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Ragin' Cajuns (7-14, 3-7), who have lost nine in a row to Middle Tennessee.
Washington State's trio of Josh Hawkinson, Conor Clifford and Ike Iroegbu have withdrawn from the NBA draft and will play their senior season with the Cougars.
Gonzaga center Przemek Karnowski, who missed most of last season with a back injury, says he is returning for another year.
Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes has withdrawn from the NBA draft and will return to the Badgers for his senior season.
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