South Alabama withstood Florida Atlantic's opening salvo and rolled to a 77-66 victory men's college basketball victory Thursday night in the Sun Belt Conference opener for both teams.
The Owls (2-4) took an early lead, but the visiting Jaguars (3-3) responded with a 13-0 run that turned a 10-6 deficit into a 19-10 advantage with about 12 minutes left in the first half.
The Jaguars had an 18-point cushion with three minutes left in the opening period but settled for a 44-33 lead at intermission.
The Owls pulled to within single digits about two minutes into the second half on senior guard Greg Gantt's 3-pointer, making it 49-41. But that was as close as the Owls would come until the closing minutes.
FAU cut the deficit to seven points, 69-62, on a jumper by freshman Stefan Moody with 2:19 left, but it was back up to a 10-point game with 41 seconds to play.
Guard Xavier Roberson led four double-figure scorers for South Alabama with 23 points. Guard Freddie Goldstein had 15 and forwards Augustine Rubit and Javier Carter had 11 apiece.
Gantt matched his career high with 29 points, going 11-of-18 from the field, and Moody added 16 points for the Owls.