FIU holds off late rally by Bethune-Cookman


From Miami Herald Wire Services

Tymell Murphy had 20 points and 10 rebounds to help host Florida International hold off Bethune-Cookman 74-72 after letting most of a double-digit lead slip away Monday.

Bethune-Cookman trimmed what once had been a 12-point deficit to two on Ricky Johnson’s layup with 17 seconds remaining. The Wildcats (5-10) had a chance to win it after forcing an FIU turnover, however Kevin Dukes’ three-pointer bounced off the rim.

Malik Smith scored 17 and Jerome Frink had 11 points and 11 rebounds for FIU (7-7), which led 58-46 with just over 10 minutes to go.

Bethune-Cookman closed to within one point on three occasions, the last at 69-68 on a pair of free throws by Javoris Bryant. Each time, FIU answered with a basket of its own.

Adrien Coleman led Bethune-Cookman with 20 points.

Men’s top 25 scores

•  No. 5 Indiana 74, Penn St. 51: Christian Watford scored 16 points, Jordan Hulls added 14 and the Hoosiers (14-1, 2-0 Big Ten) used a big first-half run to race past the host Nittany Lions (8-6, 0-2).

•  No. 17 Notre Dame 66, No. 21 Cincinnati 60: Jerian Grant scored 19 points as the Irish used their patient offense to get open shots for a victory that extended No. 21 Cincinnati’s home-court misery. Notre Dame (14-1, 2-0 Big East) has won 12 in a row for the first time since 2006-07.

The 14-1 mark is the best start during coach Mike Brey’s 13 seasons. The Fighting Irish did it their way, passing for open shots on the perimeter and spreading out a defense that has been Cincinnati’s strength.

Cincinnati (13-3, 1-2) opened the season 12-0, then lost two of their last three games, falling to New Mexico and St. John’s at home.

State men

•  Stetson 81, Jacksonville 72: Chris Perez scored a season-high 23, and Adam Pegg tied his season best with 22 as the host Hatters (5-10, 2-2 Atlantic Sun) bested the Dolphins (7-10, 2-2).

•  Florida Gulf Coast 75, North Florida 73: Chase Fieler and Sherwood Brown each scored 14 points to lead the host Eagles (11-6, 3-1 Atlantic Sun) past the Ospreys (7-10, 2-2).

Men’s top 25 poll

Unbeaten Duke and Michigan hold the top two spots in The Associated Press’ poll for the fourth week in a row.

Duke received 62 first-place votes Monday from the 65-member national media panel, with Michigan getting the other three.

Louisville overtook unbeaten Arizona to be ranked third. Completing the top 10 are Indiana, Kansas, Syracuse, Minnesota, Gonzaga and Missouri.

No. 23 Wichita State and No. 24 UNLV are back in the rankings. Oklahoma State and Pittsburgh dropped out from last week. Wyoming, the other unbeaten Division I school, remains unranked.

Women’s top 25

Baylor has regained the No. 1 spot in The AP women’s basketball poll. The Bears were the top choice in the preseason and had a run of 21 consecutive weeks atop the poll end with a neutral site loss to Stanford in November.

Notre Dame jumped up three spots to No. 2 after its one-point victory over UConn. The Huskies fell to third. Oklahoma State had the biggest drop, falling eight spots to No. 21 after losing twice this week, including to Baylor. Miami and Iowa State entered the Top 25 at 24th and 25th, while Nebraska and Arkansas fell out.


•  Florida: The 11th- ranked Gators likely will be without forward Erik Murphy for Wednesday’s game against Georgia, maybe longer. Murphy, the team’s second-leading scorer, has a fractured rib that kept him out of Sunday’s win at Yale and prevented him from practicing Monday. He is listed as doubtful.

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