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Big Comeback Lifts SMU Over Florida Gulf Coast 65-64

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File Stephen Dunn /Allsport

File Stephen Dunn /Allsport

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DALLAS (AP) – Ryan Manuel’s steal and layup with 21 seconds left capped a comeback from a 17-point second-half deficit, and SMU beat Florida Gulf Coast 65-64 on Saturday in an NIT Season Tip-Off game.

SMU had taken a 63-62 lead on a 3-pointer by Robert Nyakundi, whose 18 points and eight rebounds led the Mustangs (2-2), with 2:17 left. But Chase Fieler hit two free throws with 1:50 to play to put the Eagles (2-2) back on top.

Manuel then stole the ball from Sherwood Brown for the winning basket. The Eagles had two chances at the end, but Bernard Thompson and Brett Comer missed jumpers.

Jalen Jones added 15 points for the Mustangs. London Giles had 11.

Florida Gulf Coast led 49-32 with 15:28 left after a fast-break dunk by Dante Holmes, but couldn’t hold the lead. The Eagles’ Christophe Varidel led all scorers with 20 points, and Thompson added 11.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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