The Jaguars hung with FSU all night behind a strong showing from Antoine Allen and knocked off a ranked opponent on the road to avenge last season's loss on their own court.
What a great way for Coach Ron Arrow's bunch to start off the season. Florida State never led this game by more than four points - and that was well into the second half - and in the end South Alabama's free throw shooting advantage kept them ahead to stay.
Augustine Rubit, the team's leading scorer, struggled on the night, finishing only 3-for-11 from the field for 12 points. Fortunately for him, he was one of seven different players to score for the Jaguars in the first half, as they shot 48% from the field and 63% from behind the arc to head into halftime with a five-point lead.
Rubit did still manage 12 points thanks to multiple trips to the free-throw line, and three other players finished in double-digits, including junior transfer Antione Allen, who dropped a ridiculous 21 points on the night including several extremely well-timed three-point shots (he hit three in the second half, and they all put USA back in the lead).
Coach Arrow, though, was not at all surprised at this performance.
"No, we knew Antoine was a winner," Arrow said. "Not only that, he's a leader."
South Alabama ran the table - they shot better from the field, from the free throw line, had more assists, more blocks, were equal in rebounds...there is nothing that Florida State did better than they did all night. A banner win for the mid-major squads and a great way to kick the year off.
Coach Arrow was happy with what he of course referred to as a "big win" for his program, and said his team learned from this game but can do more in the future.
"I think they saw that we could be something special. We still need to work on situations at the end of games, but we got it done."