Fuller leads Florida International to 57-45 win over Ark.-Little Rock

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MIAMI (AP)—Chris Fuller scored a team-high 15 points and Nikola Gacesa recorded his first career double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds in Florida International’s 57-45 Sun Belt Conference victory over Ark.-Little Rock on Wednesday.

It was the second-straight home win for FIU who raised its season record to 8-16 (5-9 SBC).

Mike Smith led all scorers with 18 points for Ark.-Little Rock (15-9, 7-6 SBC) who has now lost three of its last four.

The game featured two of the better defensive teams in the league and neither shot the ball well. FIU finished just 31.9-percent (15-of-47) from the field while Ark.-Little Rock hit on only 17-of-51 (.333). But the Golden Panthers converted 25-of-39 from the free throw line compared to just 8-of-17 for Ark.-Little Rock.

FIU grabbed a 12-point lead, 45-33, on a Fuller 3-pointer with 8:23 to play. FIU shot 12-of-17 from then on and Ark.-Little Rock couldn’t get any closer than seven, 50-43, on a Smith jumper with 1:58 to play.

The Golden Panthers also dominated the boards, out-rebounding Ark.-Little Rock, 51-26. The Trojans came into the game ranked 30th nationally with a plus-6 rebounding margin and had only been out-rebounded one other time since Dec. 29.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 AR Little Rock
Mike Smith Mike Smith
7-13,  18 Pts
4 Rebs, 0 Assists
 Florida Intl.
Russell Hicks Russell Hicks
4-9,  11 Pts
9 Rebs, 2 Assists

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Wednesday, Feb 13