Florida International stretched a seven-point halftime advantage into double digits less than three minutes into the second half, and the Golden Panthers rolled to an 80-61 victory over Arkansas State on Thursday night in Miami.
With the win in the Sun Belt Conference opener for both teams, the Panthers evened their overall record at 2-2. They have won two in a row.
The visiting Red Wolves, who won four in a row after losing their season opener at Dayton, lost for just the second time in six games.
Junior forward Tymell Murphy led a hot-shooting FIU attack with 22 points, making nine of his 10 field-goal attempts, including his only 3-point try.
Junior Malik Smith added 11 points for the Panthers, and sophomore Juan Ferrales and freshman Jerome Frink had 10 each off the bench.
The Panthers shot 60.4 percent from the field, making 32 of their 53 attempts from the field. They went 8-for-15 on 3-pointers.
Arkansas State had three players in double figures, topped by junior guard Ed Townsel's 13 points. Trey Finn had 12 and Brandon Peterson 10 as the Red Wolves struggled from the field, shooting 36.5 percent (23-for-63).
The Red Wolves continue their Florida visit Saturday with a game at Florida Atlantic. The Panthers play host to South Alabama on Saturday.