SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Desmond Yates scored 22 points to lead Middle Tennessee to a 63-51 win over Missouri State on Monday night for first place in the Basketball Builders Tip-Off Tourney.
Yates, the tournament MVP, scored 13 points in the first five minutes as Middle Tennessee (7-5) raced to a 26-8 lead with 10:18 left in the period. The Blue Raiders led by as many as 25 before Missouri State (7-6) staged a 14-3 run to trail 38-24 at halftime.
The Bears opened the second half with an 11-7 run to trail 43-35 after a 3-pointer by Kyle Weems with 15:01 left. But Middle Tennessee built the lead back up to 53-37 with 9:49 remaining, and the Bears got no closer than 10 points after that.
Cardell McFarland led Missouri State with 14 and Weems finished with 12.
Middle Tennessee shot 55.8 percent from the field, compared with 38.5 percent for Missouri State.