Florida International overcame a 10-point first-half deficit, then nearly blew a similar advantage in the second half before holding on for 74-72 victory over visiting Bethune-Cookman on Monday.
The Panthers (7-7) led throughout the second half but had to hold their breath until Kevin Dukes' 3-point attempt in the closing seconds bounced off the rim and time ran out in the scramble for the rebound.
After shooting just under 48 percent in the first 30 minutes of the game, the Panthers went cold over the last 10, and the visiting Wildcats (5-11) trimmed a 65-55 deficit down to one point with just over 2 minutes remaining.
FIU survived that, but when Ricky Johnson made a layup, FIU's lead was down to 74-72 with 16.6 seconds left. Johnson was fouled on the play but missed the free throw.
The Panthers secured the rebound, then turned the ball over. After a timeout with 8.3 seconds left, the Wildcats got the ball to Dukes, who had made his two previous 3-point attempts but missed his last one.
Junior Tymell Murphy recorded his third consecutive double-double, leading the Panthers in scoring with 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Freshman Jermoe Frink also recorded a double-double -- his fourth of the season -- for FIU with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Junior Adrien Coleman led Bethune-Cookman with 20 points.