Monroe, LA (Sports Network) - Malik Smith finished with 16 points to lead the FIU Panthers over the ULM Warhawks, 67-58, in a Sun Belt Conference clash at Fant-Ewing Coliseum.
For the Panthers (16-12, 11-8 Sun Belt), Tymell Murphy added 15 points and Jerome Frink chipped in with 13 points, as the Panthers won their third-straight decision.
The Warhawks (4-21, 3-16) were paced by Trent Mackey with a game-high 17 points, while Amos Olatayo finished with 15 points.
ULM shot just 41.9 percent from the field in the first half but knocked down 4-of-10 from beyond the 3-point arc, as it took a 30-23 advantage into intermission. FIU was held to just 39.1 percent from the field and 2-of-10 from 3-point distance before intermission.
In the second half, the Panthers came out shooting, draining 57.7 percent of their field goal attempts. The Warhawks tried to keep pace by shooting 48 percent from the field but were outscored from the free-throw line in the second half, 11-1. The Panthers opened the second half on a 22-4 run, turning a seven-point deficit into an 11-point lead at 45-34. The Warhawks would answer with a run of their own and retake the lead at 51-48 with just over six minutes to play. FIU followed that with an 18-2 blitz down the stretch that sealed the game.
The Panthers finished the game with a 14-1 scoring advantage at the free-throw line. The Warhawks had the edge in rebounding, 32-26.