Florida International nips FAU to win C-USA opener, 58-57

MIAMI (AP) Brian Beard Jr. hit a pair of free throws with just under a minute left to earn Florida International a 58-57 win over Florida Atlantic in the Conference USA opener for both schools Saturday night.

Neither team could take more than a three-point lead in the closing minutes and the lead changed hands on nearly every made basket.

Trejon Jacob hit a 3 to give FIU (7-7, 1-0) a 54-52 lead but Gerdarius Troutman answered with a 3 to give FAU (6-7, 0-1) a 55-54 advantage. FIU led on two Michael Douglas free throw but the Owls answered with an Anthony Adger layup. Beard’s two free throws came with :56 remaining and neither team could score after.

Jacob finished with 17 points and Beard added 16 points and dished eight assists.

Jailyn Ingram, Troutman and Justin Massey each had 12 points for FAU and William Pfister grabbed 16 rebounds.