UNO Basketball gets back on the upswing

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Caleb Johnson 
CONTRIBUTOR 

Omaha’s KJ Robinson (No. 5) and JT Gibson (No. 0) are subbed out of the game. Both players were honored on Senior Night against Denver. Photo by Stephanie Veloso.

UNO has had a tough February with a four loss stretch ending with an overtime loss to Oral Roberts 78-81.

The most painful moment of the game happened in overtime with 1:58 left. UNO was down 76-77, when KJ Robinson stole the ball. This fast break would give UNO the lead.

Instead of going for the layup, however, UNO settled early in the shot clock for a three-point shot, as Robinson pulled up from the top of the arc and missed his look at the basket.

Overall in the game, Robinson was 0-4 from the three-point line during regulation. After that possession, the Mavericks would have no other chances to take the lead in overtime. The Golden Eagles went on to win the game 81-78.

The loss to Oral Roberts hurt the Mavs, but didn’t keep them down for long. In the next game, senior night at home against Denver, Omaha had a much better game. It helped that, statistically, Denver was the bottom team in the Summit league, but the Pioneers’ single win of the Summit League season came against Omaha in an 85-62 game.

Matt Pile led the team in scoring with 20 points against the Pioneers. Overall, Pile put in a stellar performance, as he also led the team in rebounds with 11.

One big factor in the win was turnovers, as UNO capitalized on Denver’s 15 turnovers and turned them into 19 points for the Mavs.

The next game on the schedule for Omaha as they looked to get back on track in their winning ways came against Purdue Fort Wayne, a game that could only be described as a dog fight. Both the Mavericks and the Mastodons played scrappy, and both teams shot under 40%.

Ayo Akinwole was the hero of the game—his layup near the end of the game put the Mavericks up by one with three seconds left in regulation.

Overall, it appears that UNO needs a consistent scoring option if they want to break out and win the Summit League tournament this year. Last year, that came in the form of stalwart players Zach Jackson and Mitch Hahn. Both have since graduated, and Omaha is still trying to find the player to take their spot.

Statistically, if UNO likes living and dying by the three ball they will need to start shooting at a much higher percentage if they want to go far in the Summit league tournament.

The Mavericks’ next game will be their final home game of the year, taking on the North Dakota Fighting Hawks at home on Feb. 26. That game can be streamed online at OMavs.com or listened to MavRadio.fm.

 

 

 

 

 

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