Men’s basketball: FAU defeats Southern Miss, now one win away from clinching conference tournament spot

FAU shot a season-high 61 percent from the field.


Junior Nick Rutherford scored 10 points versus Southern Miss on Saturday. Kaylyn Koutz | Contributing Photographer

Hans Belot Jr., Sports Editor

Florida Atlantic men’s basketball is now one win away from locking down a Conference USA tournament spot after defeating Southern Miss 94-82 Saturday night in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Behind a career-night from junior Gerdarius Troutman, the Owls (9-16, 5-9) can now potentially clinch a tournament spot when they host the University of Texas at El Paso.

Troutman led all-scorers with 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field, having seven of his field goals come from three-point territory. The Owls shot a season-high 61 percent from the field, including 12-for-22 from three-point land.

FAU’s bench was also key in the win, scoring or assisting on 54 of the Owls total points. Senior Adonis Filer led the bench with 17 points.

It was a tight affair in the first eight minutes of the game, with both teams exchanging buckets and the lead. However, after the game was tied at 26 with 5:23 left in the first half, FAU used a 7-0 run to take the lead for good.

Southern Miss came as close as three points, but Troutman — who seemed to have an answer for every Eagles run — knocked down a 3-pointer to extend the lead back again. FAU would head into the half leading 41-35.

Troutman had 14 points in the first half, going 4-of-5 from three, to lead the Owls after the first 20 minutes. FAU shot a season-high 55 percent from the field in the first half.

The Owls kept their foot on the gas in the second half, going 8-for-9 on three-point attempts. FAU led by as many as 18 points, before settling for the 12 point win.

FAU held Southern Miss to just 42 percent shooting from the field in the game. Cortez Edwards led all-scorers with 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field.

The Owls will return home for their last home-stand of the year, hosting the University of Texas-El Paso first on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7:00 p.m. The game will be played at FAU Arena.

Hans Belot Jr. is the sports editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him at @Don_Phenom_.