Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Malik Smith scored a game-high 22 points as the FIU Panthers defeated the Troy Trojans, 61-55, in Sun Belt Conference play at U.S. Century Bank Arena.
Smith was 5-of-11 from long-range in the Panthers' (10-8, 5-4, SBC) second- straight victory. Tymell Murphy netted 15 points and was two rebounds shy of a double-double, Cameron Bell scored 12 points, and Jerome Frink grabbed eight boards.
For the Trojans (7-12, 2-6), Emil Jones tallied 18 points, four assists, and five rebounds. R.J. Scott scored 11 points but was the only other player in double-figures for Troy as it lost for the second time in a row.
In the opening stanza, Troy used the 3-point arc to its advantage to take a narrow 28-27 lead into the intermission. The Trojans went 5-of-12 from long range, while limiting FIU to a mere 2-of-10 clip from distance.
FIU improved after the break to connect on 5-of-13 tries from long range while sinking 11-of-12 at the free-throw line. Troy cooled off to go 1-of-9 from beyond the arc, which allowed FIU to complete its second half comeback.
The evenly matched bout was reflected in the rebounding battle, as both squads finished with 35 total rebounds.