Omaha women’s basketball experiences ups and downs in start to season

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Jack Hoover
SPORTS EDITOR

Omaha basketball player Clair Killian in action
Omaha’s #11 Claire Killian against Morgan State. Photo by Stephanie Veloso/the Gateway

After finishing last in the Summit League conference standings last season, Omaha women’s basketball wanted to come into the 2019-2020 season with a renewed energy.

With a number of newcomers on the team this year, including five freshmen and two transfers, the Mavericks started the year off with a distinctly different look than they had last season.

Of the newcomers to start making a difference this year, one of the standouts is freshman Kia Wilson. In her very first game as a college freshman, Wilson scored 11 points against cross-town rivals the Creighton Bluejays. Since that game, Wilson has shown her ability to score for the Mavericks, as she put on 10-point performances against Kansas State and Peru State, as well. On the season, Wilson currently averages 7 points per game.

The newcomers aren’t the only ones making a difference for the Mavericks this year, however. As one of the most experienced players on the Maverick roster this season, junior Claire Killian has shown her worth for Omaha this year. Killian currently leads all scorers on the team as she averages 9.9 points per game. Perhaps more important is the contributions that Killian makes in all areas of the game. Killian also leads the Mavericks in most minutes played per game at 26.6. The more often that Killian is on the court, the better the Mavericks are.

Now that Omaha is seven games into their season, it seems clear that strides are being made from last season. While the Mavericks do only have a record of 2-5, they have shown resilience in the games that they have lost.

Perhaps one of the most impressive performances the Mavericks have put on this year was their 74-66 lost against the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams. An impressive first half performance from the Mavericks, particularly from freshman Ella Ogier, who led all scorers with 11 points at the half, saw Omaha take a 31-28 lead against the Rams.

Unfortunately for the Mavericks, they came up against a strong effort from VCU in the third quarter where they outscored Omaha 27-14. That scoring burst saw the Rams take the lead back for good and ultimately go on to win the game 74-66.

The Mavericks should see improvements the rest of the way, as they no longer have any Power-5 teams left on their schedule to play. With only five games left to play before the team starts their Summit League season, there is a good chance that the Mavericks could be riding a wave of momentum going into their conference opener against South Dakota State on Dec. 29.

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