53 - 59 Final
  for this game

Denver defeats Florida International 59-53

Dec 18, 2009 - 4:06 AM DENVER(AP) -- Andrew Hooper scored 13 points and Brian Stafford 11 as the Denver Pioneers beat Florida International 59-53.

Antoine Watson had a game-high 20 points and Marlon Bright scored 11 for the Golden Panthers (3-10, 0-1).

The Pioneers closed the first half on an 8-0 run, sparked by 3-pointers from Stafford and Kyle Lewis, to take a 24-18 lead at the break.

Denver (7-3, 1-0) extended the lead to 12 when Stafford and Chase Hallam hit 3-pointers to open the second half.

The Pioneers led by as many as 13 with 12:21 left, but the Golden Panthers didn't go away. A 9-0 run cut the lead to 40-36 midway through the second half. After Denver increased its lead to seven, three straight baskets by Florida International made it 45-44 with 4:42 left.

Two 3-pointers by the Pioneers, the second by Hallam with 49.6 seconds left, gave Denver a 53-46 lead.