Following one of the bigger wins of Doc Sadler's time at Southern Miss, his team hits the road for two games in South Florida starting Thursday.
The Golden Eagles (4-10, 1-2) play at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton, Fla., and at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Florida International in Miami.
USM hopes that Saturday's 73-71 win over Old Dominion in Hattiesburg is a sign of things to come. ODU (9-7, 2-1) ended Louisiana Tech's 39-game home winning streak in a 56-53 contest just prior to making the trip to Hattiesburg.
The Monarchs stepped on the court in Hattiesburg as a 12-point favorite, but the Eagles showed new life on offense for a second consecutive game.
Redshirt junior point guard Khari Price scored 20 points and dished out four assists to lead the USM effort. He was joined in double figures by guards Kourtlin Jackson (13) and Quinton Campbell (11).
Headed into last week's two games, USM was averaging 57.2 points a contest. In the 82-76 loss to Charlotte and win over ODU, USM averaged 74.5 points a game.
Jackson is USM's top scorer with averages of 11.2 points and 4.4 rebounds a game. Price is scoring 10.4 points a game and averaging 3.7 assists.
Jackson has been USM's best 3-point shooter this season, making 42.1 percent of attempts after transferring in from Iowa State.
Sadler has made more an emphasis on offense in practice in recent weeks and that's beginning to pay off with the start of conference competition. USM hit 48.9 percent of its shots in the win over ODU.
FAU (2-14, 0-3) enters Thursday's game on a nine-game losing streak, but the Owls are still a 5.5-favorite on their home court. FAU has only one win over a Division I opponent, a 75-69 win at Miami-Ohio on Nov. 21.
Six-foot-3 junior guard Ados Filer is FAU's leading scorer with 10.2 points and 3.9 rebounds a contest.
FAU lost its best post player late in December when 6-foot-9 center C.J. Turman was dismissed from the team. He was averaging 9.9 points and 7.0 rebounds a game.
FAU is averaging 62.6 points per game and giving up 66.7 points a contest.
FIU (8-8, 2-1) should provide much stiffer competition for the Golden Eagles on Saturday. The Panthers own conference wins over FAU and at Western Kentucky.
FIU features the best post player in the league in 6-foot-11, 230-pound senior center Adrian Diaz, who is averaging 15.8 points and 9.1 rebounds a game this season.
Diaz has been named Conference USA Player of the Week three times this season to lead the league.
FIU is scoring 62.4 points a game and allowing 65.2 points.