Jags Hold Off FIU For 60-58 Win

January 28, 2013 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Men's 

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The South Alabama men’s basketball team held off Florida International to sweep a three-game home stand, 60-58. The Jags needed a steal in the final seconds of the game to help preserve the win. South Alabama improves to 11-8 overall and 8-3 in Conference play.

Augustine Rubit earned his eleventh double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds while Dre Conner had a career-tying four steals in the game, including the final one to seal the game. Conner also finished with with a career best six assists as well.

The Jags would take a 31-22 lead into the locker room at halftime. At the 15:12 mark in the second half and leading 37-30, the Jags would hit a cold streak. FIU would go on a 15-2 run to take a 45-39 lead over the next three-and-a-half minutes.

A three pointer by Antoine Allen would cut the six point FIU lead in half and get the Jaguars momentum back. With just under five minutes left in the game, Dre Conner would make a layup and also sink the foul shot for a conventional three-point play to give the Jags a 52-51 lead. Barrington Stevens III would hit a three-pointer shortly after to regain the lead again for good with 3:29 left in the game.

Neither team was able to score in the final minute-and-a-half of the game and only one shot fell from the floor in the final 3:29 of the game.

Allen finished the game with 11 points and Stevens III finished with 10 points including all three of his shots from outside the arc. Mychal Ammons would add nine points and five rebounds as well.

Jerome Frink and Malik Smith scored 12 points each to lead FIU in scoring.

“That was fun,” interim head coach Jeff Price said after the game. “It was probably a lot more fun to watch than to coach. I just can’t say enough about our guys on how resilient they are, and how they fight and continue to overcome things. We got tired in the second half and I thought the first five minutes we really didn’t start well. I felt we got fatigued after that and got our heads down. But we found a way to fight back. It was just a great team effort, I’m just really happy for our guys.”

“I thought Barrington stepped up and made a couple of shots,” Price said. “We’ve got to start relying more on Barrington to have a two-guard mentality because he’s a really good shooter. He knocked down a couple of shots. It’s going to be like this for this season. We have five guards and we can move Mychal out there if we have to. We feel like Mychal is more effective inside, though.”

“South Alabama is a very good team with really good players,” FIU head coach Richard Pitino, son of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, said after the game. “Jeff (Price) is a very good coach. They hit some good shots because they are good players. You have to give all the credit to them. They won the game. Our guys competed in the second half the way I wanted them to, but all the credit goes to South Alabama.”

FIU falls to 11-9 on the season and 6-5 in conference play. The Jags continue to hold onto second place in the Eastern Division, trailing Middle Tennessee State by two games and leading third place FIU now by two games.

The Jags will now have a two-game road swing through Arkansas with their first contest coming in Jonesboro against Arkansas State on Thursday for a 7:05pm tipoff. ASU won the first game between the two teams 63-54 back on December 29 in Mobile. Jags hope to add to their three-game winning streak.

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