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Fla. International 78, Lafayette 63

November 30, 1997

MIAMI (AP) _ Raja Bell scored a game-high 25 points and Quincey Gamble grabbed 11 rebounds in Florida International’s 78-63 win over Lafayette Saturday in the opening round of the La Festival/FIU Holiday Classic.

The Golden Panthers (2-1) led by as many as 14 points, 25-11, but the Leopards (3-2) closed to within three, 35-32. FIU led 38-32 at intermission.

FIU’s lead grew to as many as 11 points several times until the very end, when the Golden Panthers went 6-for-6 from the free throw line over the final minute.

Brian Ehlers led Lafayette with 19 points. Stefan Ciosici added 15 points, and Dave Klaus grabbed 10 rebounds.

FIU now moves on to play Long Beach State (2-2), which had a 55-52 win over Brown, Sunday for the championship of La Festival. Lafayette and Brown meet in a consolation game Sunday.

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