DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The Omaha men’s basketball team overcame a 15-point deficit Tuesday night to earn its first road win of the season, defeating preseason MEAC favorite Bethune-Cookman 76-56 at Moore Gymnasium. The Mavericks improve to 2-3 on the season, while the Wildcats drop to 2-4.
Leaders for Omaha
JT Gibson was Omaha’s leading scorer for the second straight game, finishing with a career-high-tying 21 points. The junior hit three 3-pointers and went 8-of-8 at the free throw line while adding two rebounds, three assists and three steals for the night.
Zach Jackson tallied in double figures for the fifth straight game, posting his third 20-point performance of the season with 20 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Matt Pile narrowly missed a double-double with a season-high 14 points, nine rebounds, a block and a steal. KJ Robinson chipped in 10 points, three boards, a team-best four assists and a steal.
Mitch Hahn pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds and had eight points, two assists, two steals and a block.
Leaders for Bethune-Cookman
BCU counted three double-figure scorers in Malik Maitland (17), Mark Gordon (12) and Houston Smith (11). Gordon and Cletrell Pope each grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
Omaha shot .429 (24-of-56) to Bethune-Cookman’s .420 (21-of-50) from the field and .800 (24-of-30) to BCU’s .471 (8-of-17) at the line. The Mavericks owned the glass by a margin of 39-30 and forced 18 Wildcat turnovers, which resulted in 23 points off miscues.
Inside the First Half
Omaha never led in the first 20 minutes, trailing by as many as 15 when Houston Smith hit a three with 2:42 to go. But two buckets by Hahn and a free throw from Jackson closed the half, with Omaha trailing 37-27.
Inside the Second Half
The Mavericks roared to life in the second half, outscoring the Wildcats 49-19 while shooting .600 (15-of-25) to their .273 (6-of-22). Omaha added to its 5-0 run that closed the first half, extending it to 11-0 to trim the deficit to four.
A Jackson jumper at 10:30 stalled the game at 49-49, and two Gibson foul shots handed the Mavericks their first lead at 51-49 with 8:54 to play and sparked a 14-0, four-minute run. BCU was limited to just two field goals over the final 10 minutes of the game as Omaha surged to the 20-point win.
Omaha plays host to Montana State at Baxter Arena on Saturday, Nov. 24, with tipoff set for 1 p.m.