By Avery Wenck, Sports Editor
University of Nebraska at Omaha men’s basketball snapped a five game skid on Saturday afternoon with an 80-69 victory over conference opponent Denver. The win was UNO’s second conference win on the season since they won their conference opener on Jan. 2 against South Dakota in Vermillion.
Omaha was dominant on the boards, getting a total of 34 to Denver’s 18. Senior forwards Mike Rostampour and Jake White deserve the plaudits on that front as they got a combined 16 total rebounds, 11 of those coming on the defensive end.
Omaha went into halftime with a 35-32 lead before outscoring Denver 37-45 in the second half to win. UNO was also able to come out of halftime hot and built up their biggest lead of the game of 14 points.
CJ Carter continued his fine form by finishing with a game-high 23 points. This offensive display comes on the back of a 45-point effort by Carter last weekend as the Mavericks fell disappointingly to IUPUI. Carter’s impressive display earned him Summit League Player of the Week honors, his second of the season and UNO’s third.
The Pioneers will have poor three-point shooting to blame for their loss as they went 6-21 from behind the arc, an astonishing 29 percent. Denver also struggled with foul trouble, with four of their players getting four or more fouls, including their leading scorer Bryant Rucker.
This win snaps a five-game losing slide for the Mavericks. Head coach Derrin Hansen stated that although his team has struggled, they haven’t let that affect their confidence.
“Even though our conference position isn’t where we want it to be or expected it to be, this is a team that hasn’t let their heads drop,” Hansen said. “They’ve been resilient and we haven’t been practicing like a team that’s struggling at the bottom of the conference.”
With this win, the Mavericks improved to 8-11 on the season and 2-5 in Summit League play. UNO will go on the road to take on conference leaders South Dakota State on Wednesday before returning home to host Fort Wayne on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Ralston Arena.