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South Alabama knocks off Fla. International 71-59

Dec 31, 2009 - 7:37 PM MIAMI(AP) -- Tim Williams scored 18 points as South Alabama avoided a letdown from an upset win at Florida and defeated Florida International 71-59 on Thursday.

In their first game since defeating the 18th-ranked Gators on Dec. 22, the Jaguars scored 13 unanswered points and held the Golden Panthers scoreless in the final 6:23 of the first half.

Williams keyed the run with nine points, helping South Alabama (10-4, 2-0 Sun Belt Conference) to a 31-16 halftime lead.

LaShun Watson's two free throws 5:55 into the second half increased the Jaguars' advantage to 41-23.

FIU (4-12, 1-2) responded with eight straight points in the next 2:16 as Marvin Roberts scored all the points during the run.

But the Jaguars maintained their double-digit lead the rest of the game.

Roberts scored 26 of his game-high 29 points in the second half.