King carries Middle Tennessee past UAB in C-USA opener 63-60

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) Nick King took over and scored 19 of Middle Tennessee’s 21 points in the final 11 minutes of the game and the Blue Raiders knocked off UAB in a battle of Conference USA preseason favorites Saturday, 63-60.

Giddy Potts hit a 3-pointer with 13:19 left to give Middle Tennessee a 42-37 lead and Zack Bryant answered with a 3-point play that got the Blazers within two, 42-40.

And then King took over.

He tied the tied the game twice after UAB grabbed leads, then put the Raiders up for good with a 3-point play that made it 52-49 and closed the game out by scoring the team’s final nine straight points.

King was 11 of 16 from the floor and 6-for-6 shooting from the line to score 30 points and Potts finished with 19 for Middle Tennessee (9-4, 1-0).

Bryant finished with 15 points to lead UAB (9-5, 0-1). William Lee added 12 points, and Chris Cokley and Nick Norton each added 11.