Women lose opener at Bradley

Photo by Dayna Berry

Kenneth Pancake

In a game lacking for three-pointers, Omaha women’s basketball fell in their season opener to Bradley last Friday night by a score of 69-56. The Mavericks lost many possessions on turnovers, committing 18. Bradley committed only 11. That, on top of 9 blocks to Omaha’s 2, contributed to the unbalanced score.

The Mavericks stayed competitive in the first half, battling back and forth with Bradley to exchange the lead several times before Bradley ended the second quarter with a 1-point lead. An explosive third quarter led Bradley to a 12-point lead entering the final period. The Braves went up by 17 points in the beginning of the fourth quarter and led by 13 at the final buzzer.

Returning starter Amber Vidal led the Mavs with 20 points, shooting 7 of 10 from the field and hitting all 5 of her free throws. Vidal’s 20 points tied her own personal best. Guard Ellie Brecht had a team-leading 7 boards (tying her personal best), while Romekia Wallace added 6 of her own. Jess Walter was the only other Maverick to score in the double digits, putting up 11 points. The team was a dismal 2 of 16 from behind the arc, and only shot 35.2 percent from the field overall.

Both teams finished the first half with a combined 1 for 16 for three points; however, Bradley scored four more treys in the second half, while Omaha only scored one more. Bradley, led by top scorers Vanessa Markert and Shunseere Kent, scoring 19 and 17 points respectively, shot over 43 percent from the field during the game, ending 4 of 16 in 3-pointers.

Returning center Courtney Vaccher garnered four rebounds for the Mavericks, while Walter also grabbed four boards, and a team-leading five assists (the latter was over half of the team’s total in that category). The bench scored eight points. Bradley carried out 18 assists on the night, double the Mavericks’ numbers in that category. The winning team also had 9 blocks (Omaha had 2) and 2 steals (the Mavs also had 2).

Omaha goes on to face Montana State on Nov. 17 and Florida A&M Nov. 19 at Sapp Fieldhouse, as Baxter Arena is reserved for the Team USA Olympic Curling Trials.