Florida International started the second half on a 14-2 run and ended it with a 17-5 surge to defeat host Louisiana-Monroe 67-58 on Thursday night. The Panthers (16-12, 11-8 Sun Belt) trailed 30-23 at the break but needed just four minutes at the start of the second half to take a 37-32 lead. The Warhawks (4-21, 3-16) recovered from that punch to regain a 53-50 lead with less than five minutes left in the game, but they didn't score again until only seconds remained. The Panthers, meanwhile, scored 17 consecutive points to build a 67-53 cushion with 31.9 seconds left. Florida International shot 49 percent (24 of 49) in posting their third win in a row. The Panthers had three players in double figures, topped by Malik Smith's 16 points, Tymell Murphy's 15 and Jerome Frink's 13. The Warhawks, who lost their fourth consecutive game, didn't shoot all that badly -- 44.6 percent (25 of 56) -- and they won the boards 30-23. They also committed 21 turnovers, including five on consecutive possessions during FIU's final scoring run. The Panthers turned the ball over 16 times. Trent Mackey led Louisiana-Monroe with 17 points and Amos Olatayo added 15 for the Warhawks.
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