BOCA RATON, Fla. - Ronald Delph’s career-high 24 points propelled the Florida Atlantic University men’s basketball team to a 77-72 win over FIU on Saturday. The win snapped a four game FAU losing streak and put the Owls at 11-15 overall and 5-9 in Conference USA play.
After some hot early shooting by the Owls, FIU (11-16, 5-9) rallied to take a 21-16 lead midway through the first half. FAU responded with a 9-2 run, capped by a Payton Hulsey triple to go ahead 25-23 with just over seven minutes to go in the period. The two teams exchanged for the rest of the frame and a Panther layup sent them to the locker room up 42-39 at the half.
FIU scored the first five points of the second half to go up eight, 47-39, just a minute into the stanza. The Owls scored 10 unanswered points over the next five minutes and led 49-47 with 14:09 to go in the game. Neither side would lead by more than five points the rest of the way.
Brian Beard made a pair of free throws to put the Panthers up by one, 70-69, with 2:04 remaining. On the ensuing possession, FAU would miss three three-pointers before Gerdarius Troutman hit one to give the Owls a 72-70 lead with 47 ticks on the clock.
After a defensive stop, the Owls made 5-for-6 free throws to help clinch the victory.
- The 11 wins are the most in a season since the 2012-13 campaign.
- In addition to being a career high, Delph 24 points gave him back-to-back 20+ point games and was his fourth such game of the year, most on the team.
- Justin Massey scored 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting and made four three-pointers.
- Gerdarius Troutman tallied 12 of his 17 points in the second half, including the go-ahead triple.
- Payton Hulsey had five points and five rebounds to go with a season-high tying eight assists.
- The Owls made their first 15 attempts from the free throw line, before missing their final try.
- FAU’s senior class once again came up big, scoring 68 of the team’s 77 points and grabbing 21 of the 31 FAU rebounds.
FAU Head Coach Michael Curry
“This was a big game for us. Our seniors were able to go 3-1 the last two years against FIU. (FIU) plays similar to us. We knew we had to wear (Brian) Beard out.”
The Owls wrap up their home schedule with two games next week, beginning on Thursday, Feb. 22 against Rice. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. A link to live stats and live video will be available at fausports.com. Fans can hear the game on ESPN 106.3 and live in-game updates will be available at the team’s official Twitter account, @FAU_Hoops. For tickets, log on to FAUSports.com.