FAU managed only 21 points in the first half, despite facing, in the Golden Eagles, statistically the worst defense in Conference USA play.
“We didn’t convert enough or pound them enough on the inside,” FAU coach Michael Curry said.
Jumpshots from Payton Hulsey and Gerdarius Troutman propelled FAU to a 10-2 scoring run late in the second half to cut Southern Miss’ lead to nine, but the Owls didn’t get any closer until the game was out of reach.
Ronald Delph hit a jumper with eight minutes remaining in the first half to bring FAU within five points of the lead but Southern Miss responded with a 13-2 run to close the period.
FAU was a step slow closing out on three-point shooters, allowing Southern Miss to shoot 8-12 from beyond the three-point line.
Troutman broke what was a five minute FAU scoring drought by hitting a three-pointer with one minute remaining.
Payton Hulsey led the Owls with 16 points and six rebounds.
“Payton stepped up tonight,” Curry said, “He knew that going in to the game and was aggressive,”
GameBrowser: Southern Miss (12-12, 5-6) 77, FAU (10-13, 4-7) 66
Moving Forward: Before tip-off, FAU honored Ronald Delph with a commemorative basketball celebrating him becoming the seventh player in school history to have over 500 career rebounds. … FAU held a 13-2 advantage in second chance points. … William Pfister grabbed 12 boards in his third double-digit rebound game of the season
Moving Backward: FAU scored only eight points in the paint. … FAU shot 28.6 percent from the field in the first half. … Justin Massey shot 1-8 from the three-point line and 2-12 overall.
Key Stat: 2 – Assists for FAU in the first half compared to eight turnovers.
Up Next: FAU will play at Western Kentucky on Thursday, Tip-off set for 8:30 p.m.