While everyone else gets to return home and see their families and friends over break, most student athletes are hard at work as their schedules don’t allow a longer break. This is no truer than for the men’s basketball team, who played five games over the span of winter break.
The Mavericks came away with a 2-3 record over the break; out of their three losses in conference, they felt they could have been won two.
The Mavericks started off the break with a home game against UT-Pan American in a 77-72 win. Omaha was hitting shots from all over the floor and four of their five starters ended in double digits, with CJ Carter coming close with nine. Marcus Ty us lead the Mavericks with a season-high 20 points and nine rebounds.
The game was very evenly matched but the home court advantage would be the difference for the Mavericks, with a bigger portion of students showing up every game. Derrin Hansen told his guys to cutout the turnovers, as the Mavericks finished the game with 15 to the Broncs’s 1.
Omaha would then lose a heart-breaker to Chicago State in Illinois 66-69 before a week break. Then, they would open up conference play against South Dakota in Vermillion. The Mavericks won 86-77 on a day where Carter and Tyus shined. They finished with 24 and 19 points, respectively. The Mavericks shot 60 percent in the 2nd half to put up 57 points in an incredible comeback. A big positive in the game was Jake White’s ability to come off the bench and provide quality minutes for Omaha, scoring 13 points.
The disappointment came in the last three games, where the Mavericks were unable to get results against three conference opponents. Omaha lost by two points to Western Illinois, three points to North Dakota State and 19 to South Dakota State. The losses brought Omaha’s record on the season to 7-9 overall and 1-3 in Summit League play.
Head Coach Derrin Hansen said he believes a sluggish first half was to blame for the Maverick defeat.
“I thought it was a hard-fought game and we were too stagnant in the first half, but much better in the second half,” Hansen said.“I felt we weren’t very aggressive defensively, but got better in the second half. With that being said, I felt like we did well to get back even three times, but in the end they kept pulling away.”
The Mavericks will travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma on Wednesday to take on Oral Roberts before hosting IU-PUI on Sunday.