By Sean Beckwith – Contributor
The Mavericks’ rebounding woes continued Friday night with a 98-69 loss to No. 14 Fort Hays State.
In their last two games, the Mavericks have been out rebounded 94-51. An injury to sophomore center Josh Lynch continues to hamper UNO’s inside presence, forcing the Mavs to start four guards. The injury also puts the rebounding burden on UNO redshirt freshman center John Karhoff.
The undefeated Tigers had seven players score in double digits. UNO gave up 17 second-chance points and 40 points in the paint. The score was 51-29 at halftime and Fort Hays coasted to a 29-point win.
UNO senior guards Torrian Harris and Tyler Bullock were the only Mavs to score in double-digits. UNO took care of the ball and won the turnover battle 20-6. However, Fort Hays’ depth proved too much for the Mavericks. The Tigers’ record improves to 8-0 with the win, while UNO falls to 3-3 overall and 0-2 in conference play.
On Wednesday, the Mavs squared off against the Washburn Ichabods. It was the opening MIAA game for the Mavericks. UNO was slow out of the gate and came on late. Bullock’s 20 points and senior guard Jeff Martin’s six 3-pointers paced the Mavs, who never held a lead the entire game.
The Mavs were able to tie the game shortly after the 10:00 mark in the second half. Martin evened it again at 68-68 when he hit a three with 2:48 left. The Ichabods pulled away, helped by Maverick fouls. Washburn made seven free throws in the final three minutes.
“We had a couple turnovers down the stretch,” said head coach Derrin Hansen. “[Washburn] had a couple [turnovers, too]. The energy was good, but we just ran out of time.”
The absence of Lynch showed as the Ichabods’ interior tandem of senior forwards De’Andre Washington and Logan Stutz combined for 46 points and 13 rebounds. Washburn, as a team, also out-rebounded the Mavericks 42-27 and had 13 offensive rebounds.
“Stutz is one of the best ‘bigs’ in the league,” said Hansen.
The Mavericks were efficient on offense throughout the game, including 55 percent shooting in the second half. Martin, who came into the game shooting 27 percent from behind the three-point arc, hit six of nine threes for all 18 of his points.
“He made open shots,” said Hansen. “He’s gotten good looks [this season] – he got the same looks [against Washburn].”
Martin now has 125 3-pointer in his career, tying former Mav Denny Johnston for eighth place on UNO’s all-time 3-pointers list.
Bullock, Harris and junior guard Mitch Albers were the only other Mavericks who scored in double-digits.
UNO is back in action tomorrow night as it travels to Emporia, Kan. to take on the Emporia State Hornets. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. and will be aired on KVNO 90.7 FM.