Beard’s winning layup caps Florida International rally

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Brian Beard scored on a twisting layup with nine seconds remaining and Florida International rallied from a 16-point second-half deficit to defeat Western Kentucky 77-76 on Thursday night.

Beard’s layup came after Western Kentucky’s Josh Anderson tipped in an offensive rebound to give the Hilltoppers a 76-75 lead with 16 seconds remaining.

The Panthers trailed 60-44 with 11:29 left but quickly cut their deficit to six points just three minutes later and first took the lead, 73-72, on a dunk by Osasumwen Osaghae with 1:34 to go. Osaghae’s dunk was the first of five lead changes in the final two minutes.

Osaghae led FIU (12-8, 3-2 Conference USA) with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Antonio Daye added 15 points. They scored 13 and 12, respectively, in the second half. Beard finished with 14 points.

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Jared Savage had 19 points and nine rebounds for Western Kentucky (8-9, 1-3), Josh Anderson had 17 points and Taveion Hollingsworth scored 14. Freshman standout Charles Bassey picked up four fouls and was held to eight points and seven rebounds.

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