Charlotte pulls away for 73-61 win over FIU

The Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Ben Cherry scored 17 points, hitting 5 of 6 from beyond the arc, as Charlotte pulled away for a 73-61 win over Florida International on Saturday night.

Leading by a point with 5 minutes left in the first half, Charlotte (14-7, 5-3 Conference USA) scored the last eight points of the half and the first six of the second to take a 36-21 lead. Florida International (11-11, 3-4) never got within single digits after that and Charlotte led by as many as 20 in the second half.

Willie Clayton and Shawn Lester added 13 points apiece and Mike Thorne Jr. had 12 for Charlotte, which shot 50.9 percent from the field.

Florida International shot just 38.5 percent from the field, 1 of 12 on 3-pointers and 10 of 18 on free throws. Rakeem Buckles led the Panthers with 20 points.

It was the first-ever meeting between the two teams.

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