Mobile, AL (Sports Network) - Augustine Rubit notched a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds as the South Alabama Jaguars held off the FIU Panthers for a 60-58 decision in a Sun Belt Conference tilt at the Mitchell Center.
Antoine Allen added 11 points on just 3-of-12 shooting from the field for USA (11-8, 8-3 Sun Belt), while Barrington Stevens chipped in 10 points. The Jaguars managed to win their third in a row despite converting only 14-of-24 at the charity stripe.
Jerome Frink and Malik Smith tallied 12 points apiece for FIU (11-9, 6-5) as it had its three-game winning streak snapped. Tymell Murphy contributed 11 points and March Porcher Jimenez scored 10 on 3-of-11 shooting off the bench.
USA closed out the first half on a 7-2 run to take a 31-22 lead into the intermission. The Jaguars outscored the visitors, 19-2, in points off of turnovers to seize control in the opening 20 minutes of action. FIU hit just 36.3 percent of its field goal attempts in the first period.
The Panthers improved to connect on 41.4 percent of their field goal tries after the break, which helped them rally back and take a 49-44 lead at the 6:41 mark of the second half. USA scored the next six points to go back on top, but FIU answered and the teams went back-and forth until Stevens put the hosts up for good when he knocked down a 3-pointer with 3:29 left to play. The Panthers had a chance in the closing seconds, but Dre Conner stole it from Frink to clinch the win.
Both teams tallied 24 points in the paint, but USA held a 37-32 edge in the rebounding battle.