DELAND, Fla. – Malik Smith scored a career-high 29 points, including eight in the final 37 seconds, to lead Florida International to an 82-79 nonconference victory over Stetson on Sunday.
A 3-pointer by Smith broke a 65-65 tie with 5:53 remaining, and Gaby Belardo's free throw gave FIU (3-3) a four-point lead. The Hatters (2-6) tied it on four free throws by Chris Perez, who finished with 22 points.
A three-point play by Tymell Murphy gave FIU a 72-69 lead with 1:51 left. Murphy finished with 11 points and nine assists.
Another trey by Smith made it 77-72 at the 37-second mark, and he added five free throws the rest of the way to offset Stetson's four points by Perez and three by Willie Smith.
Belardo and Juan Ferrales scored 12 points each for FIU.
Adam Pegg added 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Hatters.