- Associated Press - Thursday, December 29, 2016

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Francis Kiapway hit a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left and added a free throw in the closing seconds to allow Ball State to escape North Florida with a 73-68 victory and its fifth straight win Thursday night.

Taylor Persons’ jumper with 1:31 left gave the Cardinals a 69-63 lead, but North Florida closed the gap with a 3-pointer by Chris Davenport and a layup by Dallas Moore that made it 69-68 with 43 seconds to play.

Persons and Kiapway each knocked down three treys to spark Ball State (8-4) in its final nonconference game, the first meeting between the schools. The Cardinals open Mid-American Conference play Tuesday at Kent State.

Persons finished with 16 points to lead Ball State.

Moore scored 29 points to pace North Florida (4-11).



North Florida closes out its nonconference slate Monday against Palm Beach Atlantic and opens Atlantic Sun play Saturday against Jacksonville.

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