HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — Bruce Massey scored 15 points and Middle Tennessee extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 17 games with an 81-66 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday in the second round of the Sun Belt Conference tournament.
The Blue Raiders (28-4) added to their school-record streak and broke the school record for victories set last year by using a balanced attack, shooting 49 percent from the field and outrebounding Louisiana-Lafayette 36-27.
Raymond Cintron added 12 points and James Gallman had 11 for top-seeded Middle Tennessee, which will face No. 4 seed Florida International in the semifinals on Sunday. The Blue Raiders, who will move to Conference USA next season, have defeated Louisiana-Lafayette 10 straight times.
Alan-Micha Thompson led the eighth-seeded Ragin’ Cajuns (13-20) with 17 points. Elfrid Payton added 15 points and six assists, Bryant Mbamalu scored 14 and Shawn Long had 10.
WESTERN KENTUCKY 61, LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 57: Bianca McGee led Western Kentucky with 20 points, including an 8-for-8 effort from the foul line in the final 80 seconds of the game, to eliminate the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Keke Veal scored a game-high 21 points with eight rebounds and five assists for ULL.
ULL ended its season at 10-21, while WKU improved to 21-9.
Veal capped her freshman season with her fourth 20-point game of the year, all coming in the last seven games of the season. She was 7-for-24 from the field with three 3-pointers.
Alexis Govan added 15 points for WKU, while Chastity Gooch chipped in with 11 points and eight rebounds.
MIDDLE TENNESSEE 59, LOUISIANA-MONROE 56: ULM had the ball with 42 seconds left and trailed 57-55, but ULM’s Jasmine Shaw missed a free throw with a chance to tie the game at 57. The Blue Raiders (22-8) knocked down two free throws with 10.8 seconds left to seal the win.
Sharnice Brooks led ULM (10-21) with a career-high 15 points. Shaw chipped in 11, while Elexar Tugler had 10 points.
Icelyn Elie led all scorers with 17 points, while Kortni Jones and Ebony Rowe both had 16 points.
The contest featured 12 ties and 11 lead changes.
Middle Tennessee faces FIU in the semifinals at noon Sunday.