Last season the Warhawks managed to score just seven points in the first half of action, this year though ULM had fewer problems scoring. ULM battled through sluggish first half shooting by forcing 20 FAU turnovers to take a 65-64 win on Saturday night. The win marked the first home conference win since February 4, 2010 when the Warhawks downed WKU.
ULM trailed by as many as 10 points with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game, when the inside game of Jayon James, who finished with a career high 26 points, went to work drawing fouls in the paint. The key shot to seal the win came with just over ten seconds though, as Trent Mackey connected on the Warhawk's second three point attempt of the late possession to lock in the win. Mackey finished the game with 19 points.
"I'm especially proud of those guys that played there in the last ten minutes, they had every reason to shut it down and just give it to Florida Atlantic, but kept fighting through," Head Coach Keith Richard said.
Helping the Warhawks secure the win was also the aggressive rebounding, as they limited the Owls to just seven offensive rebounds. FAU won the overall rebound battle 31-30, thanks to the double-double effort of James, who collected 10 boards. In addition to the defense on the boards, ULM focused their efforts on containing the conference's top scorer in Greg Gantt, who entered the contest averaging 28 points. Gantt was held to 25 in this game.
"We had to focus on him, but no one can really stop him, you just have to hope to contain him," Richard said of the league's top player. "He's a really good player and every team in this league is going to tee-off on him."
The Warhawks will be off until January 3, when South Alabama comes to Fant-Ewing Coliseum for another Sun Belt Conference tilt. Tip-off is set for 30 minutes after the women's contest; about 7pm.