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FSU pulls upset of Baylor

HONOLULU — Florida State heads home with a good feeling. No. 15 Baylor returns to the mainland with two losses.

Derwin Kitchen scored 19 points and Chris Singleton added 17 and 10 rebounds in FSU's 68-61 victory Saturday over Baylor in the third-place game of the Diamond Head Classic.

Bernard James had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Seminoles (11-3), who played on Christmas for the first time and recorded their first win over a ranked team this season.

"It's big for us, especially for our confidence," James said. "We've played two ranked teams already, and we didn't do so well. This game is going to do wonders for us once we get to (ACC play) just because now we know that we can play with and beat a team of that caliber."

The Bears (8-3) have lost three times since reaching No. 9, the best ranking in school history.

Florida State held Baylor to 33 percent shooting and led by as much as 10 in the second half before the Bears scrapped back.

TEAM LOSES AFTER INFIGHTING: Host Hawaii beat shorthanded Mississippi State 68-57 in the fifth-place game, the Bulldogs' first since they suspended two players for fighting in the stands. Mississippi State's top big men, Renardo Sidney and Elgin Bailey, were suspended indefinitely for fighting each other after their game Thursday night.

Football: FIU's spotlight

Three years ago, one win was cause for celebration at Florida International. Now the Golden Panthers enjoy something more impressive: a trip to a bowl.

"It's really one of the best stories in college football," coach Mario Cristobal said. "And I'd be saying it if it wasn't our team."

Three seasons after ending a 23-game skid, FIU plays in tonight's Little Caesars Bowl in Detroit against Toledo. It's the first bowl for the program, in its sixth season in Division I-A.

When Cristobal took over, the Golden Panthers were coming off an 0-12 season in 2006, marred by an ugly brawl against Miami. And this March, running back Kendall Berry was stabbed to death on campus.

After all that, FIU is savoring a trip to Detroit.

"We thought maybe Year 4 or 5 we'd be competitive," Cristobal said. "So we're way ahead of schedule."

LATE FRIDAY: Tulsa scored touchdowns on three straight drives in four minutes early in the second half, allowing the Golden Hurricane to pull away from No. 24 Hawaii and win 62-35 in the Hawaii Bowl at the Warriors' home, Aloha Stadium. Tulsa's Damaris Johnson caught four passes for 101 yards and a touchdown, and ran five times for 98 yards, including a 67-yard TD. He had 326 total yards to break the NCAA career record for all-purpose yards with 7,796; the junior topped the mark of 7,764 set by Brandon West of Western Michigan in 2006-09.

FSU pulls upset of Baylor 12/25/10 [Last modified: Saturday, December 25, 2010 11:28pm]
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