MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Shawn Jones scored four of his 22 points in overtime as Middle Tennessee opened its inaugural Conference USA season with an 89-84 victory Saturday night over Alabama-Birmingham.
Jones opened overtime with a dunk. UAB answered when Chad Frazier made a layup and a 3-pointer to put the Blazers ahead 82-79.
Middle Tennessee took an 84-82 lead when Neiko Hunter hit a 3-pointer and a layup with 2:40 remaining in overtime. The Blue Raiders then closed with a 5-2 run.
Middle Tennessee (11-5, 1-0) led 56-43 with 11:56 to play in the second half. UAB (11-4, 0-1) tied the game at 77 on a pair of Robert Williams' free throws with 35 seconds remaining.
Kerry Hammonds II missed a 3-point shot for Middle Tennessee with three seconds to play to send the game into overtime. He finished with five 3-pointers while scoring 17 points.
Frazier led UAB with 28 points.
Colorado State graduate transfer John Gillon has chosen Syracuse, giving the Orange a potential starter at point guard entering the 2016-17 season.
DeSean Murray, who averaged 20.2 points as a sophomore at Presbyterian, will transfer to Auburn to play for coach Bruce Pearl.
Former Kentucky guard Ed Davender, the only Wildcat with at least 1,500 points and 400 assists, has died. He was 49.
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