Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Malik Smith tallied 17 points to lead the FIU Golden Panthers to a 76-73 win over the ULM Warhawks in a Sun Belt Conference clash at U.S. Century Bank Arena.
Tymell Murphy and Jerome Frink combined to shoot 11-of-14 from the floor en route to 14 and 13 points, respectively, as FIU (12-10, 7-6 Sun Belt) snapped a two-game losing streak. Marco Porcher Jimenez added 10 points.
Amos Olatayo notched a career-high 30 points for ULM (3-15, 2-10) on 12-of-18 from the floor. Trent Mackey hit five perimeter shots and finished with 21 points, while Jayon James narrowly missed a triple-double with 11 points, a career-high 15 assists and nine rebounds.
FIU forced 14 turnovers in the opening period and despite being outrebounded, 15-9, led 35-29 at halftime after shooting 50 percent from the floor.
ULM wasted no time getting back into the contest as it tied the score at 39-39 before the first media timeout on a layup by Olatayo. The game remained tight the rest of the way as a Mackey triple once again knotted the score at 71-71 with 1:26 remaining.
Olatayo gave the Warhawks their first lead of the second half moments later but Smith responded with the decisive three-point play that put FIU ahead. After two Deric Hill free throws, James' 3-point try was off the mark with six seconds left.
ULM won the rebounding battle, 31-23, but that mattered little with the visitors turning the ball over 25 times.