By Nate Tenopir, Sports Editor
The UNO women’s basketball team earned their first-ever Division I win on the road at Western Illinois two months ago. Junior guard Jamie Nash led the way, scoring 17 of the 25 points that came off the Maverick bench.
The second time around Nash was a starter and only managed four points. The bench came through with just 12.
Western Illinois got a measure of revenge Tuesday night, downing UNO 70-59 in front of 431 at the Sapp Fieldhouse. Neither Nash nor any of the Mavs could quite get it going.
Only Paige Frauendorfer and Heather Pohl got into double digits for a UNO team that started slow and fell behind by as much as 21 in the second half.
Pohl lead the Maverick effort with a double double on a season high 23 points and 10 rebounds. Frauendorfer had a double double of her own, scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 boards.
But as a team UNO only shot 29 percent to the Leathernecks 39, and was called for 17 fouls compared to just 9 for Western Illinois.
Western Illinois used two runs before and after halftime to build leads UNO would be unable to overcome. Just as the Mavs had gotten to within two at 24-26, a 12-3 Leatherneck run that began with five minutes remaining ended only because the half came to a close.
But the break did little to slow momentum. Western Illinois picked up right where the half had ended and came out with an 11-3 run to extend a halftime lead of 11 to 19.
Over the first three minutes of the second half the Leathernecks hit two threes, put in three foul shots and a layup. UNO made a three of their own but also missed twice from long range, got whistled for three fouls and turned the ball over twice. It was an exercise in contrasts.
The Mavs and Leathernecks traded baskets from there, but the damage had been done. Two free throws by Western Illinois’ Sadie Webb with 12:27 left in the game made the deficit 21.
Over the next seven minutes UNO got five threes, four from Pohl, and closed the gap to 59-65 with 4:20 to go. But freshman center Kelly Taijhe’s layup to close the gap to six was the Mavs’ final hoop of the night.
Western Illinois answered with a three of their own and two free throws to get back up by 11 and won 70-59.