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February 3, 2013

Basketball Updates: Coley scores 39

Women's Basketball: Coley Nets Career-High 39 Points in 71-61 Loss to ULM

Despite a career-high tying, 39-point performance from junior Jerica Coley, the FIU women's basketball team fell to Sun Belt Conference opponent ULM, 71-61, on Saturday evening at U.S. Century Bank Arena. With the loss, the Panthers fall to 14-8 (8-5 SBC) while the Warhawks improve to 6-15 (4-8 SBC).

FIU led by as many as six points in the first half before ULM came back and then pulled ahead, closing out the half on an 11-4 run to take a 32-27 advantage into the locker room at halftime. Coley netted 22 of the Panthers' 27 points in the opening stanza.

The second half saw ULM remain in control, as the Warhawks took their largest lead of the night at 68-58 with 2:13 left to play. Coley converted a three-point play to cut the deficit to seven at the 1:03 mark, but FIU could not complete the comeback, as ULM came away with a 71-61 victory.

Coley led all scorers with 39 points, as she has now scored in double-figures in 21 of 22 games this season, including 20-straight, and in 78 of 88 career contests. The All-America candidate fell just shy of a double-double, tallying a team-high nine rebounds, and adding two blocks, two steals and two assists.

For her career, Coley has scored 1,847 points, and moved from fifth place to third place on the FIU all-time scoring chart during tonight's contest.

The Panthers shot 30.3 percent (20-of-66) from the floor versus ULM, compared to 48.3 percent (29-of-60) shooting for the Warhawks. FIU out-rebounded ULM, 43-39, while the Warhawk bench out-scored the Panther reserves, 23-9, for the contest.

FIU returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 6, when the Panthers host SBC and local rival Florida Atlantic. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. from U.S. Century Bank Arena.

Men's Basketball Hold Off Warhawks, 76-73

Junior Malik Smith converted a 3-point play with 19 seconds left in the game and sophomore Deric Hill registered his sixth steal of the night nine seconds later as the FIU men's basketball team (12-10, 7-6 SBC) defeated the ULM Warhawks (3-15, 2-10 SBC), 76-73, at U.S. Century Bank Arena on Saturday night.

FIU trailed ULM, 73-71, with 33 seconds left in the game and had possession of the ball following a turnover by Trey Lindsey. As time was winding down, Smith drove the lane, drawing an "and-one" opportunity. With the game tied at 73-all, the Boston, Mass., native hit his third free-throw attempt of the night, giving the Panthers a one-point lead. As the Warhawks brought the ball down the court, Hill stripped R. J. McCray. The Miami native streaked down the court looking to convert the fast-break chance but was fouled and went to the line for two shots. Hill converted both, giving FIU the 76-73 lead with six seconds left to play.

ULM heaved one last attempt to tie the game but a shot by Jayon James fell short as redshirt sophomore Marco Porcher Jimenez grabbed the rebound, giving FIU the three-point victory.

Smith finished the night with a team-high 17 points on 5-of-13 shooting from the floor. The 6-foot-2 guard converted four of his five buckets from beyond the arc with the final shot resulting in a traditional 3-point play. Hill notched a game-high six steals, while scoring six points, including three from the free-throw line.

Junior Tymell Murphy added 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Freshman Jerome Frink scored 13 points and grabbed a team-high six rebounds. Porcher Jimenez notched 10 points and recorded four boards versus the Warhawks.

The Panthers shot 48.2 percent from the floor (27-of-56) and went 8-of-24 from 3-point range (33.3 percent). FIU held a six-point lead at the half, 35-29, but the Warhawks shot 70.4 percent from the field in the second half, including 6-of-9 from downtown to grab a 73-71 lead with a minute to play. ULM finished the game shooting 58.0 percent (29-of-50) from the floor and 43.8 percent from 3-point land (7-of-16).

The Warhawks held a 31-23 advantage on the boards and out-scored FIU in second-chance points, 11-5. FIU forced 25 ULM turnovers resulting in 33 points for the Panthers. The 18 steals recorded by FIU were a season high as seven Panthers notched at least one takeaway in the contest.

The win snapped a two-game losing skid for the Panthers and clinched a winning record at home for the 2012-2013 season. The win also improves FIU to 3-4 all-time versus ULM as the Panthers have won three of the last four meetings.

FIU will next host the Florida Atlantic Owls at U.S. Century Bank Arena on Thursday, Feb. 7. Game time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET.

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