<
>

South Alabama 101, Florida Atlantic 76

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) -- Demetric Bennett scored 25 points and Carlos Smith added 20 more to lead South Alabama to a 101-76 victory over Florida Atlantic Saturday night.

All five South Alabama (9-7, 3-2 Sun Belt Conference) starters scored in double figures and a season-high 58 percent shooting helped spark the Jaguars' win.

Florida Atlantic (7-8, 3-2) was led by Carlos Monroe's career-high 29 points.

Both teams came out strong as USA used a pair of 3-pointers by Leandro Buboltz and Bennett to build an 11-6 lead with 17 minutes left in the half. FAU had six of its first eight points from Monroe, who had 26 points in his last outing at New Orleans on Thursday.

A 9-1 run by the Jags included Bennett's third 3-pointer and gave USA a 26-11 lead with 10:25 left in the half.

The Jags held a 50-25 lead at the break as Ernest Little hit two free throws with three seconds left in the first half.

The Owls opened the second half with more fire and cut the deficit to 60-40 with 14:29 to play as Monroe has become a force for FAU as he was 10 of 16 for 20 points.

Little had a career-high 18 points for South Alabama and Daon Merritt also tied his career-high with 18. Buboltz added 10 points.

DeAndre Rice scored 17 points and Paul Graham followed with 11 to round out the double-digit scoring for the Owls.