- Associated Press - Friday, March 10, 2017

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Reggie Upshaw scored 18 points, including three 3-pointers, with eight rebounds, Giddy Potts had 14 points and five steals and No. 1 seed Middle Tennessee beat UTEP 82-56 on Friday in the Conference USA Tournament semifinals.

JaCorey Williams added 13 points and Antwain Johnson scored 11 for Middle Tennessee (29-4), which will face No. 2 seed Louisiana Tech or sixth-seeded Marshall in the championship game on Saturday.

Paul Thomas’ jumper to open the scoring gave fourth-seeded UTEP its only lead before six Blue Raiders scored during 17-5 run to open a 10-point lead. Johnson hit back-to-back 3s to spark a 12-3 run and push lead into double figures for good when Williams hit a jumper that made it 37-21 with 35 seconds left in the half. Middle Tennessee took its biggest lead, 72-45, on a layup by Williams with 5:11 to play.

Thomas scored 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting while Omega Harris hit 6 of 11 shots and finished with 17 points for No. 4 seed UTEP (15-17). The rest of the Miners shot just 23 percent (7 of 30) from the field.

The Blue Raiders scored 25 points off 18 UTEP turnovers.

Middle Tennessee has won 19 of its last 20 games, including nine in row - its third win streak of at least eight games this season.

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