Mobile, AL (Sports Network) - Augustine Rubit's tip-in with 34 seconds left turned out to be the deciding play as the South Alabama Jaguars hung on for a 72-71 victory over the Florida Atlantic Owls in a Sun Belt Conference thriller at the Mitchell Center.
Rubit finished with 18 points for South Alabama (14-9, 11-4 Sun Belt), while Antoine Allen and Mychal Ammons netted 13 points apiece. The victory was the fifth in a row at the Mitchell Center for the Jaguars.
Greg Gantt paced FAU (11-15, 6-9) with 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the floor. Stefan Moody chipped in 16 points and Jordan McCoy registered a double- double of 11 points and 12 rebounds, but it was not enough to help the Owls avoid their second straight loss.
The contest went into halftime tied up at 31 after both teams shot under 40 percent from the floor in the opening stanza. FAU held a six-point lead with 1:51 left in the first half before the Jaguars went on a 6-0 run to even the score.
The second half was very tight as the score was tied seven times and the lead changed hands on five occasions. The Owls improved to hit on 55 percent of their field goal and converted 16-of-21 attempts at the charity stripe, but South Alabama stayed close by holding a 17-14 rebounding edge and forcing six turnovers to register 14 more shot attempts. After Rubit's go-ahead tip-in, FAU was unable to attempt a game-winner as Gantt lost possession of the ball.
In a battle where every point mattered, South Alabama made 18-of-20 at the free-throw line and FAU netted 18-of-23 at the charity stripe.