A 17-0 run in the final 5:33 lifted the FIU men's basketball team (16-12, 11-8 SBC) to a 67-58 win over the ULM Warhawks (4-21, 3-16 SBC) on Thursday evening at Fant-Ewing Coliseum in Monroe, La.
Trailing 53-50 with 5:33 left in the game, the Panthers scored 17-straight points to take a 14-point lead. A pair of buckets by ULM's Trent Mackey in the final 10 seconds put the final score at 67-58.
Junior Malik Smith led all Panthers with 16 points on 6-of-14 shooting. Junior Tymell Murphy finished the night with 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting, while freshman Jerome Frink posted 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor
Senior Cameron Bell led FIU on the boards, registering eight rebounds. Sophomore Deric Hill sparked a defense that registered 11 steals, notching a team-high four swipes versus the Warhawks
FIU finished the contest shooting 49.0 percent from the floor (24-of-49) and 23.8 percent from 3-point range (5-of-21). The Panthers converted 14-of-21 from the free-throw line (66.7 percent).
The Panthers trailed by seven, 30-23, heading into halftime after a poor shooting performance in the first half, as FIU converted 39.1 percent of its shots (9-of-23) from the floor. The Panthers also committed 10 turnovers in the opening half.
A 14-2 run to start the second half gave FIU its first lead since the 16:05 mark in the first half as the Panthers went up by five with15:56 left in the game. A layup by Murphy gave the Panthers a 37-32 advantage, and FIU extended its lead to 11 with 12:25 on the clock as a jumper by Murphy gave the Panthers a 45-34 lead.
ULM chipped away at FIU's lead, taking a 53-50 advantage following a jumper by R.J. McCray with 5:33 left in the game. However, the Panthers' 17-0 run put the game away and gave FIU its 16th win of the season.
The Panthers forced 21 turnovers, resulting in 31 points for FIU.
The win marked the team's 11th conference victory of the year while giving FIU the program's most victories since the 1999-2000 season.
FIU will close out the 2012-2013 regular season on Saturday, March 3, with a trip to Boca Raton, Fla., to take on the Florida Atlantic Owls. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m.ET.
Junior Jerica Coley reached the 2,000 career-point mark on Thursday evening as the FIU women's basketball team fell to Sun Belt Conference opponent ULM, 64-53, at Fant-Ewing Coliseum. With the loss, the Panthers fall to 17-11 (11-8 SBC) while the Warhawks improve to 8-20 (5-14 SBC).
FIU scored the first basket of the game to take what would be its only lead of the game, as ULM took a 29-22 advantage into the halftime break. In the second half, the Panthers got to within six at 49-43 with 4:57 left to play, but the Warhawks regained control, going on for the 64-53 victory.
With her second basket of the contest, a three-pointer at the 7:45 mark of the first half, Coley eclipsed 2,000 points for her career, going on to end the contest with a game-high 25 points. The All-America candidate has now scored in double-figures in 26-consecutive games and the 20-point performance marked her 19th such outing of the season.
Coley added four rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists against the Warhawks, as she became the second player in program history to register 2,000 points, 600 rebounds and 300 assists for her career. Lynette Richardson (1982-86) also accomplished the feat, totaling 2,099 points, 630 rebounds and 308 assists for her career. Through 94 career contests, Coley has recorded 2,022 points, 630 rebounds and 301 assists.
Senior Carmen Miloglav chipped in with a season-high-tying 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field, including 3-of-4 shooting from three-point range. The three treys mark a season-best and tie a career high.
Junior Marita Davydova led FIU on the boards for the 19th time this season, pulling down 10 rebounds, while Miloglav and junior Arielle Durant each dished out a team-high three assists on the night. Miloglav also led the Panthers in steals with four swipes, and senior Finda Mansare posted a squad-best three blocks.
As a team, FIU shot 29.0 percent (20-of-69) from the floor while ULM shot 38.3 percent (23-of-60) for the game. The Warhawks out-rebounded the Panthers, 46-42, and the ULM bench out-scored the FIU reserves, 25-10.
FIU will close out the 2012-13 regular season on Saturday, March 2, when the Panthers travel to Boca Raton, Fla., to face SBC and local rival Florida Atlantic. Tipoff is set for 3:15 p.m. from FAU Arena.