Junior forward Malik Smith scored 21 points on Saturday night to lead Florida International to an 87-77 win over Coastal Carolina and the first career victory for head coach Richard Pitino.
The Panthers (1-2) spoiled a career-high effort by Coastal Carolina guard Anthony Raffa, who poured in a game-high 34 points in the game at the HTC Center in Conway, S.C.
Florida International led 37-31 at halftime and then opened the second half with a 13-4 run that included a pair of three-pointers from Smith, who went 5-for-8 from beyond the arc on the night. Coastal Carolina never got closer than six points the rest of the way.
The Chanticleers (2-3) also had 12 points from Warren Gillis, 10 from el Hadji Ndieguene and 10 rebounds from Michael Enanga.
Joining Smith in double figures was Tymell Murphy with 15, while Joey De La Rosa added 10. The Panthers were 29-of-55 from the field (52.7 percent), 8-of-20 on three-pointers and hit 21 of 26 free throw tries.
Coastal Carolina was 31-of-64 from the field (48.4 percent).
Richard Pitino, the 30-year-old son of Louisville coach Rick Pitino, previously served as an assistant coach with his father.
The Chanticleers next travel to Boston University on Wednesday, while the Panthers play Arkansas State in Miami on Thursday.