Women's basketball left the Sapp Fieldhouse Saturday afternoon, heads hung low, disappointed in their performance after a 74-64 loss to conference leader South Dakota State. The loss marked just the third time all year an opponent had come into Omaha and won on the Mavericks' home court.
Before Saturday, UNO had a 10-2 mark at home and was in the midst of a five-game home winning streak. But a 22-7 run over the final 9:16 of the first half turned a three-point Jackrabbit lead into a 15-point lead by halftime. UNO came within nine points twice in the second half but never really recovered from SDSU's big run.
Women's basketball finished the non-conference slate in unusual fashion, smashing Indiana Dabney 83-39 on the road Saturday in a game that was called with two minutes remaining. Leading by 44 the referees called the game due to Dabney's short bench.
UNO men's basketball is last in The Summit League in team defense, allowing 83 points per game. That stat reared its ugly head again in an 84-79 loss Saturday night at Cal State Bakersfield.
A year after Omaha dropped two games to the Roadrunners in 13 days, the Mavs again came up short against Bakersfield. The Roadrunners shot more than 15 points higher than their season average while improving their record to 7-13.
UNO dropped to 5-16 (2-6 Summit League) and allowed Bakersfield to make 53.8 percent of their shots. The Mavs shot an equally impressive 50.8 percent, but came up just short at the end of the game.
Junior guard Justin Simmons has filled a role the Mavs have so desperately needed in 2012/13. The graduation of former leading scorer Mitch Albers left the team without a reliable scorer.
But Simmons has picked up the slack, averaging 14.6 points on the season and 20.5 in his last eight games. Some of that scoring success can be attributed to improving his 3-point shot, something Simmons has been focusing on lately.
Simmons changed his shot back to the form he developed his last year in junior college.
Carolyn Blair-Mobley had one year of eligibility left and a decision to make.
The 5-foot-10-inch forward, originally from St. Paul, Minn., had already played for Cloud County (Kan.) Community College for one season and then at Oklahoma State for two seasons. Her senior season, Blair-Mobley took a break from basketball to earn her degree. But she wasn't quite ready to walk away from basketball.
All the anticipation for men's basketball's first home game at the new Ralston Arena came to fruition Friday night. It took UNO a little getting used to the new house but the Mavs went away a winner 77-64.
Despite not being eligible for post-season play, the UNO men's and women's basketball teams picked up awards last week when several members received All-Independent Honors. Four members of the men's team, and three members of the women's team, were named to the 2012 Independent Basketball All-Conference Teams by College Sports Madness.