Mavericks Drop Opener to Minnesota; Avoid Upset with Buena Vista Win

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Zach Jackson playing at Baxter Arena in 2017. Photo courtesy University Communications.

Kenneth Pancake
SPORTS EDITOR

The men’s basketball season began at the earliest it ever has on Nov. 6 playing the Minnesota Golden Gophers in Minnesota.

It was there that Zach Jackson scored his 1,000th point for the program. Sadly, the game ended in defeat with a of 104-76.

The Mavericks returned home to play Division III opponent Buena Vista, who had just played (and lost to) Drake University the night before in exhibition. After a scare, Omaha regained its composure and took the victory, improving to 1-1.

Minnesota

The team took a trip to Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minnesota to play a Big-10 opponent: the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The game ended in defeat 104-76, handing the Gophers a victory at home.

The contest gave Omaha a lot to work on. “The things that we can control, we’re going to get better at,” said Derrin Hansen, Head Coach.

The game also provided many positives, such as what was practically the return of senior forward Mitch Hahn from injury last year.“He couldn’t get his arm above his head last year,” Hansen said.

Against Minnesota, Hahn shot 50 percent from the field, making three treys and five field goals overall for 14 points, good for second best on the team. In addition, he added five total rebounds (first on the team) and three steals.

Action Jackson Scores His 1,000th Point

It was against Minnesota that Omaha star Zach Jackson scored his 1,000th point in his college career, as a Maverick.

Jackson was a Summit League first team pick in the pre-season and for good reason: as of publication, the senior guard has a career field goal percentage of 49 percent, a three-point field goal percentage of 41 percent and averages 10.8 points per game.

In addition, Jackson averaged 22 points a game during the 2017-18 season.

Buena Vista

The Mavericks opened at home at a rare noon tip-off on Nov. 9 and played Buena Vista, a small Division III school seeking exhibition experience.

The Beavers proved to be more than Omaha bargained for.

Shortly after the ten-minute mark in the first half, Buena Vista was leading the game 31-22, a nine-point lead.

“Slow start today by us,” Hansen said. “Sometimes (our challenges have) a Power Five name across its chest, sometimes it doesn’t.”

Omaha went into the locker rooms tied at 44 apiece. The team quickly answered back, outscoring the Beavers 50-14 in the final half.

The Mavericks won the game with a final score of 94-58.

The team will play a home game against Northern Arizona at 7 p.m. on Nov. 14 before going on the road to face Colorado (Nov. 16) and Bethune-Cookman (Nov. 20).

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