*All statistics as of January 10.
Last season’s conference play was a year to forget for Omaha women’s basketball.
The Mavericks picked up only two Summit League wins the entire season and finished the season in 9th place in the league, and consequently was the one team to miss out on the post-season tournament.
Safe to say, the team wanted to avoid a second successive season finishing dead-last in the conference.
While it may be too soon to speak, the Mavericks do seem like they are on track this year to better last season’s achievement. Through three games, Omaha has a record of 1-2 and sits in fifth place in the Summit League standings.
The one win for Omaha came in a 60-54 game at home against a competitive Oral Roberts Golden Eagles squad. After facing an eight-point deficit at halftime, the Mavericks proved that they weren’t willing to give up this season. Two dominating quarters in the second half where Omaha limited Oral Roberts to less than 10 points a quarter helped the Mavericks come out with the win.
Scoring-wise, sophomore Mariah Murdie led the way for the Mavericks, as she put up 13 points. That 13-point performance tied Murdie’s season-high up until that point. In the next game however, Murdie would go on to beat that mark, as she scored a new season-high of 16 points against the North Dakota Fighting Hawks.
The two losses the Mavericks have experienced this year, one against North Dakota and the other against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, shouldn’t have them feeling too downhearted. Both the Fighting Hawks and Jackrabbits are off to undefeated starts in Summit League play and look to be two of the more difficult teams that Omaha will face this season.
So, while the Mavericks seems to still be some ways off of challenging the top teams in the Summit League, it is clear that strides are being made to lessen the gap. One improvement that the Mavericks need to make seems to be to find a more consistent scoring threat.
This season, junior Claire Killian is the top scorer for the Mavericks, as she is averaging 9.6 points per game, which puts her at 20th on the scoring charts out of all Summit League players. No other team in the Summit League has their top scorer averaging less points per game.
With the emergence of a player who can start the score with more regularity and who the team can turn to in crunch time, the Mavericks would no doubt find themselves in much better position at the end of the season.
Looking ahead for Omaha basketball, the team will be on the road for two games against South Dakota and Denver before returning home on Jan. 24 to take on Western Illinois at Baxter Arena. That game can be listened to on Mavradio.fm or streamed online at OMavs.com.