Men’s Basketball: Owls snap nine game losing streak against Southern Miss

Win also breaks 0-3 conference slide

Junior+guard+Marquan+Botley+goes+for+a+layup+during+the+Owls%27+88-81+win+over+Southern+Miss+Thursday.+The+win+was+their+first+after+a+nine-game+losing+streak.+Mohammed+Emran+%7C+Staff+Photographer
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Men’s Basketball: Owls snap nine game losing streak against Southern Miss

Junior guard Marquan Botley goes for a layup during the Owls' 88-81 win over Southern Miss Thursday. The win was their first after a nine-game losing streak. Mohammed Emran | Staff Photographer

Junior guard Marquan Botley goes for a layup during the Owls' 88-81 win over Southern Miss Thursday. The win was their first after a nine-game losing streak. Mohammed Emran | Staff Photographer

Junior guard Marquan Botley goes for a layup during the Owls' 88-81 win over Southern Miss Thursday. The win was their first after a nine-game losing streak. Mohammed Emran | Staff Photographer

Junior guard Marquan Botley goes for a layup during the Owls' 88-81 win over Southern Miss Thursday. The win was their first after a nine-game losing streak. Mohammed Emran | Staff Photographer

Ryan Lynch, Multimedia Editor

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Men’s basketball head coach Michael Curry said he felt grateful after the Owls’ 58-51 win over the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles.

His team had just broken a nine-game losing streak stretching back to Dec. 12 at UCF and won its first conference game of the season after going 0-3 on the road to start Conference USA play.

“Our players have been working hard, their spirits have been great,” Curry said. “They’ve been working every day despite our record and we talked about coming home. We still have nine conference games, let’s try to take care of business at home one game at a time, and it started tonight.”

“We were going crazy because we haven’t been winning much, so it was a big boost. We’re getting our confidence back,” sophomore center Ronald Delph said of the locker room reaction after the victory.

Both teams found it difficult to put points on the board early in the game, as the Golden Eagles (4-11, 1-3) shot 11-of-26 from the field. FAU (3-14, 1-3) shot 9-of-26 during that time, including 1-of-10 from behind the three-point arc.

The Owls would turn it around in the second half making 11-of-21, while keeping USM to 6-of-19 shooting during the second half.

For the second game in a row, FAU found strength in its rebounding with a 34-29 advantage over the Golden Eagles. That inside presence was led by the 7-foot Delph, who had a commanding presence in the paint.

“It’s big because C.J. (Turman) was a big part of rebounding, and then Jesse (Hill) didn’t play that well, so I had to step up and played a big role for my team,” Delph said of his performance.

He would lead the team with 13 rebounds on the night and had 11 points to earn a double-double, the first of his career. Seven of his points came in the second half during the late portion of the game.

“We still have our guards, Jesse has been playing well, Jeantal (Cylla) has been good. It’ll all come together,” Delph said of his teammates’ contributions.

Senior guard Jackson Trapp led all Owls’ scorers with 15 points, which tied his season high.

Curry and his team will continue the week when they take on Louisiana Tech on Saturday, Jan. 16. A win against the Bulldogs would mark the first time under Curry the Owls won back-to-back conference games.

Ryan Lynch is the multimedia editor of the University Press. For tips regarding this or other articles, he can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter.