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.

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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.

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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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