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Omaha Men and Women split at Purdue Fort Wayne

Omaha Men and Women split at Purdue Fort Wayne

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The Omaha men’s basketball team erased a 17-point second-half deficit Thursday night, rallying for an 85-79 overtime win in a barn burner with Purdue Fort Wayne at Gates Sports Center. With their fifth straight win, the Mavericks remain in a tie for first in the Summit League standings with a record of 12-8 (6-1), while the Mastodons drop to 12-10 (4-3).

Leaders for Omaha
Senior captains Zach Jackson and Mitch Hahn combined for 48 points, with 24 of Jackson’s coming in the second half and overtime period. He finished with 25 for the night with six rebounds while hitting 8-of-9 at the line. Hahn put up his third double-double of the year on a season-high 23 points and a career-best 15 rebounds, shooting 9-of-16 with four 3-pointers.

JT Gibson also finished in double figures with 11 points — all after halftime — alongside three rebounds, an assist and two steals.

Leaders for Purdue Fort Wayne
The Mastodons got a team-leading 16 points with five rebounds from Kason Harrell. John Konchar, whose performance gave him Purdue Fort Wayne’s all-time scoring record, finished with 15 points, four boards, nine assists and a block. Matt Holba added 10 points, and Dylan Carl had eight points with 10 rebounds.

Team Stats
Omaha outshot the Mastodons .465 (33-of-71) to .420 (29-of-69) from the field and outrebounded an opponent for the fifth straight game, 43-37.

Inside the First Half
Hahn delivered a strong opening half with 15 points and seven caroms before the break.

PFW opened 1-of-7 to start as Omaha took the lead right out of the gate, but the Mastodons managed to pull even three times up to 12-12. PFW went up from there and surged to a 28-16 lead with 2:19 to go on the back of a 16-4 run.

Omaha however, ended the half on a 7-0 run thanks to back-to-back threes from Hahn, which cut PFW’s advantage to 28-23.

Inside the Second Half
After the intermission, Omaha extended the run to 11-0 to pull within one at 28-27. But PFW responded with a 21-5 spurt over the next seven minutes, which gave the Mastodons their largest lead of the night at 49-32.

Down but never out, the Mavericks rallied from there when a Wanjang Tut layup at 12:17 started the comeback. By 9:32, the Mavericks had made it a two-point game at 51-49 with a 17-2 run, aided by eight points from Jackson.

The game finally locked at 57-57 on a Jackson bucket with 4:47 to play. It stalled again at 59-59 and 61-61, and Omaha regained footing at 65-62 after a jumper and two free throws from Jackson. PFW’s final three of regulation — by Kason Harrell with 29 seconds left — sent the game to overtime at 65-65.

Inside Overtime
Gibson, after missing his first six 3-point attempts, finally drained one to put Omaha in the lead, 73-72, in overtime. Omaha took the lead twice more and PFW answered each time before a Gibson layup and two Jackson free throws put the Mavericks back in the lead, 81-79. The Mastodons committed two turnovers and missed their final two shot attempts in the final minute, while Omaha hit four of its final six free throws to seal the game.

Noting Tonight’s Game
-Omaha has won nine of its last 10 games.
-Omaha’s five-game win streak is its longest since Feb. 16 – March 6, 2017.
-The Mavericks have won their last five decisions on the road, their most since seven straight from Jan. 2 – Feb. 19, 2011.
-JT Gibson remains the only Maverick to hit a 3-pointer in every game this season, and his 20-game streak is a career long.

Up Next
Omaha and South Dakota State square off in a first-place showdown this Saturday, Jan. 26. Tipoff is set for 4:15 p.m. at Frost Arena in Brookings, S.D.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Omaha women’s basketball team dropped a 56-48 decision to Purdue Fort Wayne on Thursday afternoon at the Gates Sports Center.

Leaders for Omaha
Freshman forward Mariah Murdie paced Omaha with a career-high 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting with a 5-of-6 effort at the free throw line. She added six rebounds, four steals and an assist.

Freshman forward Josie Filer posted a team-leading seven rebounds with nine points. Junior guard Rayanna Carter chipped in seven points, four rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Sophomore guard Claire Killian matched her with another seven points, alongside three assists.

Leaders for Purdue Fort Wayne
Purdue Fort Wayne was led by DeJour Young’s 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the floor and 2-of-3 from three. Young added six rebounds, two assists and a steal. ShToya Sanders added a game-high 11 rebounds along with five points, three blocks and three steals. Jaelencia Williams chipped in nine points and five rebounds.

Team Stats
Omaha shot 32.7 percent (17-of-52) from the field, but only 10.0 percent (2-of-20) from long range. The Mavericks also shot 75.0 percent (12-of-16) from the free throw line. UNO held a 35-31 advantage in rebounds.

Inside the First Half
After Purdue Fort Wayne took an early 7-0 lead, Omaha responded with an 8-1 run sparked by six points from Carter to tie things up at 10-10. Sierra Bell went 1-for-2 at the line in the final second of the first quarter to give the Mastodons an 11-10 lead after the opening 10 minutes.

The Mavericks were outscored 13-4 in the second quarter and Purdue Fort Wayne led 24-14 at the break.

Inside the Second Half
Murdie, who was limited to two points in the first half, came out in the second stanza to shoot 8-of-12 with a 3-pointer for 22 more points. Omaha improved its shooting to 40.7 percent (11-of-27), but Purdue Fort Wayne shot 50.0 percent (11-of-22) from the floor. The ‘Dons took their largest lead with 5:46 left in the fourth quarter, going up 44-31. Murdie then scored 10 of the next 12 points for UNO to trim the lead to 49-43 with 3:25 remaining. Purdue Fort Wayne then hit seven straight free throws down the stretch to secure the 56-48 victory.

The Mavericks are now 6-13 (1-6 Summit League) on the season, while the Mastodons improved to 5-14 (1-6).

Up Next
Omaha returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 26, visiting South Dakota State.

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