The Omaha men’s basketball used the tail end of a three-game home stretch to get back in the thick of the Summit League regular season title. The Mavericks are now (,) and get ready for two road games this week against IUPUI, and IPFW, which could possibly decide who wins the Summit League Regular Season outright. The winner of the regular season will receive an automatic bid to the NIT Postseason Tournament if they don’t reach the NCAA tournament.
UNO vs. South Dakota State: W 96-92
Last Wednesday night the Mavs welcomed league-lead-ng South Dakota State into Baxter Arena for a showdown which the Omaha came away victorious 96-92, earning their first-ever win over the Jackrabbits since joining Division One.
Omaha only led for a short period of time in the first half before SDSU took a ten point lead with about four minutes to go in the half. The Jacks made it rain from three-point land in the first half nailing nine three-pointers with five from Reed Tellinghuisen alone. The Mavs entered the half down 46-43 after Deon-dre Parks hit a three at the buzzer for the Jacks.
The second half was a different story for the Mavericks who took their first lead of the second half at 53-52 after Randy Reed broke free on a fast break and slammed it home on the opposing end. Reed’s dunk seemed to wake up the Mavs, as well as Baxter Arena, which was invaded that Wednesday night by a large section of blue and gold donning Jackrabbit fans.
The Mavs battled back-and-forth the next few minutes, but still staying within one-point either down or up. Then two Jake White three-pointers, a Devin Patterson three, and two White free-throws gave the Mavs their biggest lead of the night at 81-72 with about six-and-a-half minutes to go in the game.
The Jacks would tie the game at 84-84 after capping a 9-0 run. Patterson would hit one free-throw, before the Jacks got another three-pointer to take an 87-85 lead. Tra-Deon Hollins scored on a fast-break to tie it back up, and then fellow Omaha Central grad Tre’Shawn Thurman hit a trey to take the lead. The Jacks would tie it once more at 92 with just under a minute to go. Thurman, once again came in clutch with a tip-in, and then Hollins swatted a SDSU shot away that could have tied the game before two Thurman free-throws sealed it.
Hollins finished with a career-high 28 points with nine rebounds, eight assists, and four steals. Thurman scored 19, White 18, including four three-pointers, and Patterson rounded up the scorers in double-figures with 15.
UNO vs. North Dakota State
Omaha was back in action Saturday afternoon in a matchup with the back-to-back Summit League Conference Tournament Champions North Dakota State. The Mavs jumped out to a 6-0 lead before using a 10-1 run to get out to a 21-13 lead. The Bison would string a run of their own together and take a 29-27 lead, but that was short-lived as the Mavs went into the half up 34-31.
The Mavs worked their way out to their largest lead of the game at 62-49 with around 7:45 to go in the half. Although the Bison were 10 for 10 from the field in the final ten minutes of the game, they could never get within five of the Mavericks.
Jake White scored 23 points to lead all scorers, Patterson had 16, and Hollins finished with 14 and four steals. Tre’Shawn Thurman also recorded ten for the Mavericks.