- Associated Press - Thursday, February 27, 2014

RUSTON, La. (AP) - Jaron Johnson scored 15 points and Louisiana Tech topped Middle Tennessee 55-39 Thursday to move into a first-place tie in the Conference USA standings.

Louisiana Tech (23-6, 11-3) and Middle Tennessee (21-8, 11-3) are part of a four-way tie atop the standings. Each team has two conference games remaining.

Louisiana Tech closed the first half on a 9-2 run for a 27-19 lead. Middle Tennessee scored just two points over the last 7:30 of the half.

The Blue Raiders fought back to tie the game at 32. But the Bulldogs responded with a 14-2 spurt and Middle Tennessee couldn’t cut the deficit to fewer than nine points the rest of the way.

Alex Hamilton added 12 points for the Bulldogs while Michale Kyser had nine points and eight blocks.

No player scored in double figures for Middle Tennessee. Shawn Jones, Neiko Hunter, and Reggie Upshaw Jr. each had eight points.