By Nick Beaulieu, Editor-in-Chief
In a back-and-forth, slow-paced contest, the University of Nebraska at Omaha Mavericks fell to Oral Roberts 81-78.
The Mavs came within one point and had possession with 30 seconds to go, but coughed it up on adrive to the rim. Oral Roberts went down and hit both free throws andthe Mavs couldn’t find the basket again.
Devin Patterson led the Mavs inscoring with 23 points.
It was a rough night for the seniors, as Mike Rostampour experienced foul trouble most of the way and was scoreless with four rebounds.CJ Carter was just 2 for 6 with afour points in the first half and needed stitches to fix a cut, but he finished with 18 points on 8 of 15 shooting.
The Mavs battled with the Golden Eagles to retake the lead through-out the first half, and entered the break trailing only 43-40.
It was a slow moving game, with little to no pace with whistle after whistle. Rostampour played just four minutes in the first half and had only 11 total minutes in his last home game in Omaha before fouling out.
Despite falling short, UNO wascontent with their effort against a Golden Eagles team that beat them by 16 points and scored 102 on the Mavs earlier in the season.
“We put up a good fight,” Cartersaid. “I’m not mad at the guys at all; we put up a good fight tonight.We left it on the floor. Everybody left it on the floor tonight for me and Mike and we did what we had to do to win the game but came up short.”
The Mavericks’ 11 blocks was the most under any Derrin Hansen coached team.
This was the final regular season game that the Mavericks will play at Ralston Arena. Afterwards, the seniors reflected on their memories of UNO’s transitional home.
“The most memorable thing I probably had was last year the CIT game against North Dakota,” Carter said. “That was a big moment for UNO basketball history to make a post season tournament and have the first game here. That was important.”
Rostampour reflected on the big moments in Ralston Arena too.
“The bigger games: I like those games because the crowd comes out and gets loud,” Rostampour said.“When we beat North Dakota, that was huge for our program because people look at us like a smaller D-1 Nebraska school, which we are, but we’re making the jump because of things like last year.”
Junior Devin Patterson touched on the growth the program has had in Ralston Arena and how it will carry over to the new arena on campus.
“I feel like we made a big jump with the fans even though we aren’t playing good; that will carry over to next year,” Patterson said.“We got a couple big wins here so I guess that will carry over to next year.”
UNO will go on the road to finish the season, closing out with games against IPFW, IUPUI and the University of North Dakota. They’re games that may not have any implications on a potential post season, but they mean everything to Rostampour and the rest of the Mavs.
“It means everything,” Rostampoursaid. “It’s all about process. If you play hard every game, then you live with the results. Then tonight, and the whole season…this has kind of been like our whole season, we play so hard and then whistles whatever, stuff that you can’t control take it away so I said whatever. Our guys played their butts off and I appreciate that.”