Fla. International 63, Stetson 56
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ James Mazyck scored 19 of his game-high 21 points in the second half as eighth-seeded Florida International upset top-seeded Stetson 63-56 Thursday night in the opening round of the Trans America Athletic Conference tournament.
FIU (9-18, 5-12) now moves into Friday night’s semifinals to face the winner of the Central Florida-Southeastern Louisiana game. The winner of the tournament, which finishes on Saturday, earns an automatic berth in the NCAA championship tournament.
Stetson (15-12, 11-6) grabbed its biggest lead of the contest, 42-33, when Jason Alexander connected on a 3-pointer with 14:50 remaining in the game.
But then Mazyck went to work, scoring nine points while leading the Golden Panthers on a 17-6 run. The 6-7 senior capped the surge with a short jump shot that gave FIU a 50-48 advantage with 5:41 remaining, and Stetson was never able to recover.
FIU hit 21-of-59 shots for a percentage of 35.6, while Stetson connected on 19-of-52 attempts for a percentage of 36.5. But it was FIU’s inside dominance that proved decisive. The Golden Panthers outrebounded the Hatters 49-29, and their interior offense earned them 23 free throw opportunities. FIU converted 16 of its foul shots, while Stetson was only 11-of-17 from the line.
With 21 points Mazyck was the only FIU player to score in double figures and also led all rebounders with 11. Alexander topped Stetson with 20 points, and Ehren Wallhoff added 12 points but was held scoreless in the second half.