Thomas' FIU team falls to Northwood

MIAMI -- Isiah Thomas lost his coaching debut at Florida International on Wednesday night when Northwood, an NAIA school coached by Rollie Massimino, beat the Panthers 71-61 in an exhibition game.

Thomas, the Basketball Hall of Famer and most recently coach of the New York Knicks, faced Massimino, who coached Villanova to the 1985 NCAA title and is entering his fourth season at the West Palm Beach, Fla., school.

Lester Hunte scored 18 points for Northwood, while Patrick Horstmann had 13. Jay Duncan scored seven of his 10 points in the final minutes as Northwood pulled away.

Marvin Roberts and Phil Gary Jr. both scored 15 points for FIU, which opens the regular season Monday at No. 6 North Carolina, the defending NCAA champions.