Potts, a freshman, came into the game with just 15 career points. He was 4 of 6 from 3-point range and 4 of 4 from the free-throw line.
Potts hit two free throws with 6:55 to play, giving Middle Tennessee (6-5) a 16-point lead.
Eric Robertson sandwiched two 3-pointers around a three-point play by Justin Tuoyo before a layup by Greg Pryor capped an 11-0 run by Chattanooga (6-6), making it 59-54 about 2 minutes later.
The Mocs, however, made just 2 of 6 field goals from there and Potts hit a 3 with 1:09 to close the scoring.
Middle Tennessee made 15 of 17 (88.2 percent) free throws while Chattanooga was just 3 of 7 from the stripe.