South Alabama went on a 13-4 run after trailing by 16 to close within seven, 60-53, with 1:18 left to play. Detroit (2-2) finished 4 for 4 from the free throw line and Howard dunked to end the game.
Howard was just 4-of-15 shooting from the floor, but went a perfect 14 of 14 at the foul line. Anton Wilson chipped in 11 points as the only other Titan to score in double figures.
The Jaguars dominated on the boards, pulling in 48 to Detroit's 37, but struggled at the line and finished with 52.2-percent shooting (12 of 23) on free throws.
Taishaun Johnson scored 15 points and had 10 rebounds to lead South Alabama. The Jaguars (1-2) had 22 turnovers.