Perrin Buford led the way with 14 points, and a complete team effort from the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders lifted them to a 63-60 victory over Charlotte in the opening round of the C-USA tourney.
The Blue Raiders would get on the board first, but this one would be close from start to finish as there would be five ties and eight lead changes in the first half alone.
Charlotte's largest lead would be four and MTSU's would be three, but it would be the 49ers who would take a 30-29 lead into the break following a Pierria Henry made three just before the first half buzzer.
Middle Tennesse would open on a 6-2 spurt, and would eventually lead by as nine at 51-42 with 8:30 to go before Charlotte would come storming back.
An 11-3 run over the next four minutes would knot the game at 54, and it would be tied two more times including at 60 all with under a minute to play. A Reggie Upshaw made dunk, and a Giddy Potts made free throw would give the Blue Raiders a three point lead, and Charlotte would be unable to connect on a few attempts in the closing seconds.
The win advances Middle Tennessee into the quarterfinals for a matchup with the 3 seed Old Dominion Monarchs. The loss ends a disappointing season for Charlotte at 14-18 overall.
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