LAKELAND — Mike Donnelly had been waiting for a game like this out of Tyler Ross.

The Florida Southern head men’s basketball coach knew his senior forward had gotten off to a slow start this season. Donnelly was confident that Ross, a senior and key rotation player the past two years, would eventually figure it out.

And that’s exactly what he did against Embry-Riddle on Wednesday.

Ross poured in a season-high 29 points as Florida Southern used a big second half to knock off the visiting Eagles 112-98 in front of 503 fans at Jenkins Field House.

“It feels amazing,” said Ross, who also grabbed 12 rebounds. “Team really needed this win; we’re on a little losing streak. It’s just good to be back on track and playing well.”

While Ross broke out of his early-season slump, he was far from the only Mocs player to have a good night against the Eagles. Five other Florida Southern players reached double-figure scoring as the Mocs (5-4, 2-3 TSC) scored a season-best 112 points.

Embry-Riddle (4-5, 0-5 SSC) melted down with just over five minutes to go.

Trailing 88-82, the Eagles were whistled for three technical fouls — two by Lakeland grad Shaquan McArthur — within a minute. Rico Releford hit one and Jonathan Lawton hit six more free throws to push the lead to 95-82.

Lawton and Releford scored 21 and 16 points, respectively, as Florida Southern’s lead ballooned to as many as 18 points in the final minutes.

“I heard the guys say some really important, winning things,” Donnelly said. “We scored 112 points tonight, but we’re not a great offensive team yet by any means. We want to be really good defensively. We got in that huddle and they just said what we were talking about defensively: keep the ball in front, congest and plug in those dribble-penetration gaps.

"I didn’t have to say it, and that’s a real big step forward for us.”

The Mocs exploded out of the gates with a 21-7 run, but Embry-Riddle controlled the first half as they outscored Southern by 18 after falling behind in the early minutes.

Florida Southern, which trailed by as many as 10, ended the half with another flurry.

Trailing 52-42 with 1:43 to go, the Mocs outscored Embry-Riddle 9-3 to end the half. Ross started the run with a layup before Releford hit a 3-pointer.

The Eagles answered back with a Jenkins triple, but Lawton ended the half with a four-point play after converting a free throw after getting hit in the face on a made 3-pointer.