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Florida International 76, Florida A&M 55

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Florida International will embark on Conference USA play with a winning record after rolling to a 76-55 victory over Florida A&M on Monday night in Tallahassee, Fla.

With the victory, the Panthers finished the nonconference portion of their schedule with a 7-6 record despite playing only three games at home.

Forward Adrian Diaz led FIU with 19 and guard Dennis Mavin added 16.. Forward Tashawn Desir and guard Jason Boswell each contributed 14 points.

The win over the Rattlers was the fifth game of a stretch of eight consecutive road outings for the Panthers, who are 2-3 over that span. They have three more road tests to come before they get back to their Miami campus home.

Next up, they open league play at Florida Atlantic on Sunday afternoon.

Trips to Middle Tennessee and UAB follow that contest before the Panthers come home to entertain Marshall on Jan. 15.

The Panthers led the Rattlers only 19-13 with just under seven minutes left in the first half but closed out the period on a 19-6 run to take a 38-19 advantage into the intermission.

Florida International coasted in from there in dealing the winless Rattlers their 12th consecutive defeat.

Guard Jermaine Ruttley led all scorers with 20 and guard Craig Bowman added 12 for the Rattlers.

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