The freshman Stapleton matched his career high and went 5 of 8 from the field and 6 of 7 from the foul line. Louisiana Tech (18-6, 9-2 Conference USA), the two-time defending champs, rebounded from a loss to Alabama-Birmingham on Thursday. The Bulldogs are in a three-way tie with UAB and Western Kentucky atop the conference.
Reggie Upshaw Jr. led Middle Tennessee (13-11, 6-5) with a career-high 21 points and Marcus Tarrance added 14. The Blue Raiders shot just 40 percent (23 of 57), with 15 turnovers and 20 fouls. Louisiana Tech scored 17 points at the line.