MIAMI -- Eric Lockett scored half of his career-high 30 points at the free-throw line, where he converted 15 of 18, and four players reached double figures as Florida International defeated Charlotte 79-59 on Saturday.
FIU (9-11, 3-4 Conference USA) led almost all the way in a dominating outing. The Panthers went to the free-throw line 25 times, making 19. They scored 23 points off 16 Charlotte turnovers, had eight steals and four blocked shots. Trejon Jacob and Michael Douglas scored 16 points each and Brian Beard Jr. added 15 points with eight assists and four steals.
Trailing 41-24 at halftime, Charlotte opened the second half with 3-pointers from Jon Davis and Ryan Murphy, sparking a 14-5 run that cut the gap to 46-38 five minutes in. Lockett, Beard and Jacob scored the next 14 points in three minutes for FIU and Charlotte called a timeout, trailing 60-46.
Davis led the 49ers (5-13, 1-6) with 15 points, while Murphy scored a career-high 14.
Kentucky's Washington in boot ahead of tourney
Second seeded Kentucky says leading scoring and rebounded PJ Washington is wearing a walking boot, but only "as a precaution."
Houston is weary, and wary of Georgia State
Coming off one of the finest regular seasons in its history, Houston will look to start an extended tournament run when it squares off against Georgia State in a first-round NCAA Tournament dustup on Friday in Tulsa, Okla.
VCU, UCF prepare for defensive battle
VCU's upset loss to Rhode Island in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament ultimately had no impact on the Rams' seeding for the NCAA Tournament.