MIAMI -- Malik Smith scored 19 points to lead Florida International pasts Florida Atlantic 84-65 Thursday night for its first win against the Owls since the 2009 season.
Tymell Murphy added 13 points, Jerome Fink scored 12 and Cameron Bell 10 for the Panthers. Fink's two free throws midway through first half gave FIU (13-10, 8-6 Sun Belt Conference) its first lead, 16-14.
Greg Gantt hit a jumper to tie the game at 16 but Smith answered with a 3-pointer that sparked a 26-8 run for FIU. The Panthers led 49-28 at halftime and stretched their lead to 75-49 in the second half.
FIU shot 47.2 percent (34 of 72), compared to 38 percent (27 of 71) for FAU, and forced 22 turnovers on the strength of 15 steals.
Gantt paced FAU (11-14, 6-8) with 19 points but made just 7 of 21 shots and had five turnovers.