By Avery Wenck, Asst. Sports Editor
Omaha Men’s basketball returned home Saturday afternoon after losing to Nebraska, the Mavericks rebounded with a convincing 78-54 over Nevada. The Mavericks continued their fine form in front of a raucous arena of nearly 2,000 fans and showed why they are a program growing into Division-I athletics.
UNO was out-rebounded for the second consecutive game in which saw both teams combine for 40 fouls. Marcus Tyus was perfect from the field as he finished 5-5 for 12 points. Tre’Shawn Thurman lead all scorers with 18 points and Mike Rostampour was right behind him with 17. The Mavericks were impressive on the defensive side of the ball and Nevada’s 20 turnovers allowed Omaha to play their up-tempo style of play. Despite the final scoreline, the first half was sloppy for the Mavericks, and Head Coach Derrin Hansen told the players at half that it had to be better from them in the second.
“They had about 12 possessions just on offensive rebounds,” Hansen said. “I just didn’t think we did a good job. That said, we were only down by one so I just told the guys we needed our fair share of possession in the second half and we’d be fine.”
The Mavericks have prided themselves on physical play in the paint, but Omaha struggled down low early in the game, something that was apparent to Thurman.
“We saw that they were getting too many points in the paint, and we weren’t rebounding well, so we definitely wanted to turn it up on defense,” Thurman said. “So we decided to play more physical because you can’t let the refs decide if it’s a foul or not, you just have to play through.”
An injury to Wichita State transfer Jake White in their season opener has kept him out of the lineup and has allowed Thurman, a freshman from Omaha Central, to come in and have an immediate impact as a Maverick.
Big man Mike Rostampour had a good game in the paint for the Mavericks. The senior finished the game on 5-10 shooting from the floor, while also making six of his seven free throws. Rostampour said this game couldn’t have come at a better time for the Mavericks, and that the physicality has got to get better from the forwards.
“We talked about that[poor physical play], and we can’t have that,” Rostampour said. “We have K State next week, so I’m glad we played Nevada now to show us what we have to do better. I think Tre [Thurman] and I were disappointed about our performance in the physical play, but I think we did a lot better in the second half.”
UNO will go on the road to Manhattan, Kan. on Tuesday to take on Kansas State. They will then head out to Colorado to take on Air Force before returning home to host Iowa Wesleyan at the Ralston Arena on Dec. 10th.