Middle Tennessee 69, Arkansas St. 62

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Kevin Kanaskie had 13 points to help Middle Tennessee State hold off Arkansas State 69-62 Wednesday night in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference tournament.

Middle Tennessee (18-13), the No. 5 seed, led 34-25 with 18:04 left, but the No. 12-seeded Red Wolves used a 15-5 run to pull ahead 40-39 with 11:32 left. The Blue Raiders quickly regained the lead on a Kanaskie layup and never trailed again, making 7 of 8 free throws in the final minute.

Arkansas State (13-17) suffered its 10th straight loss while Middle Tennessee advances to the tournament quarterfinals to face No. 4 seed North Texas on Sunday in Hot Springs, Ark.

Montarrio Haddock added 12 points for the Blue Raiders, Nigel Johnson had 11 and Desmond Yates chipped in 10.

Daniel Bryant scored 18 points to pace the Red Wolves while Donald Boone and Shawn Morgan had 10 apiece.