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College basketball: 25.5-point underdog Florida A&M upsets Iowa State

Jan. 1 (UPI) -- The betting line didn't mean much for the Florida A&M men's basketball team, as the 25.5-point underdogs pulled off a 70-68 stunner at Iowa State.

Rod Melton Jr. led the Rattlers to their second win of the season by scoring 15 of his 20 points in the second half of the victory Tuesday in Ames. The Rattlers have now won back-to-back games after starting the season on a nine-game losing streak.

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"No excuses," Iowa State coach Steve Prohm told reporters. "We got beat and you gotta live with it."

Iowa State had a 33-24 lead at halftime after getting eight points apiece from Prentiss Nixon and George Conditt in the first half. M.J. Randolph recorded seven first-half points for the Rattlers.

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Florida A&M set the net on fire in the second half, shooting 57.6 percent from the field. Melton made seven of his 10 second half attempts. D.J. Jones had 10 points and six rebounds for the Rattlers in the second half.

Rasir Bolton kept the Cyclones in the game down the stretch, with 23 points in the second half. He finished the game with 29 points.

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The Rattlers built a six point lead with less than six minutes remaining in the game, before the Cyclones closed the gap. Melton then went on to burry a jump shot with 10 seconds remaining, giving the Rattlers a 69-68 edge.

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Jones finished the game with 16 points and seven rebounds for Florida A&M. Randolph recorded 13 points, while Kamron Reaves chipped in 10 points in the win. Conditt scored 12 points off the bench for the Cyclones, while Terrence Lewis had 10 points in the loss.

Iowa State is the fourth Division I men's basketball team to lose this season, after being favored to win by at least 25 points entering the game. The other underdogs to pull off such victories in 2019 were Stephen F. Austin, Charleston Southern and Evansville.

The Cyclones (7-5) face TCU at 6 p.m. EST Saturday at Ed & Rae Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. The Rattlers (2-9) battle North Carolina Central at 4 p.m. Saturday at McDonald-McLendon Arena in Durham, N.C.

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