The Omaha men’s basketball team opened their season Tuesday night at Ralston Arena with a 10-point win over the Hastings Broncos, 67-57. The game marked the first meeting between the two schools since the 2011-12 season and Omaha now leads the all-time series 9-3.
While the win may not have been the prettiest for the Mavericks, it did showcase some new faces on the home side. None more notable than true-freshman Frankie Fidler, who led the Mavs with 15 points and came down with six rebounds.
Two other Mavericks started for the first time alongside Fidler — transfers Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler and Felix Lemetti.
However, the big difference in the game was the level of production each team saw off their benches. Omaha’s bench combined for 22 points compared to Hasting’s seven. Marco Smith and Kyle Luedtke led the way with 10 points each and ended up being the spark the Mavericks needed in the win. Darrius Hughes also added nine points, a team-high eight rebounds and two steals.
The Mavericks did not have the most efficient night shooting though, as they were just 25 percent from behind the arc and finished the night 42.9 percent from the field. However, they sank 15 of their 21 free throw attempts, a big positive early in the season.
Defensively, Omaha limited Hastings to 57 points and a 34.4 field goal percentage. The Mavericks also forced 15 turnovers and comfortably won the turnover battle. Omaha averaged almost one more turnover a game than their opponent last season.
As for the Broncos, the loss extends their losing streak to three games in the month of November. The Mavericks also held the Broncos to their lowest scoring total of the season at 57 points. Hastings made just four of their 18 shots from behind the arc as well.
The Mavericks (1-0) will travel to Indiana to play Ball State next and open up a five-game road trip. That game against Ball State will tip-off at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13. Omaha will face some tough competition across the month of November as they’ll travel to Kansas State, Texas Tech and Purdue. The Mavericks will not return home to Baxter Arena until they play SIUE on Nov. 30 due to the Olympic Curling Trials the arena is currently hosting.