OMAHA, Neb. – The Omaha women’s basketball team withstood a late threat by Fort Wayne on Sunday afternoon, avenging an earlier loss to the Mastodons with a 77-61 victory at Baxter Arena.
Leaders for Omaha
Amber Vidal registered her seventh 20-point scoring effort and first career double-double with a game-high 21 points, shooting 8-of-15 from the field and a perfect 5-of-5 from the free throw line. She also dished out 10 assists.
Leaders for Fort Wayne
De’Jour Young led the Mastodons with 17 points, eight rebounds and four steals. KeShyra McCarver added 14 points and eight boards, while teammate Peyton Fallis finished with six points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Omaha shot .483 (28-of-58), while limiting Fort Wayne to .338 (23-of-68) from the field. The Mavericks were an impressive .857 (18-of-21) at the charity stripe while the Mastodons were .733 (11-of-15). Fort Wayne held a 39-33 advantage on the boards, but Omaha won the turnover battle 11-8.
Inside the First Half
Omaha shot .467 (7-of-15) in the opening quarter, compared to Fort Wayne’s .438 (7-of-16) effort. Both teams played close in the opening minutes with each side taking a small lead in the opening two minutes. Omaha pushed its lead to six, 13-7, on a Kalen Phillips layup with under five minutes remaining in the period. Fort Wayne cut the lead to 18-17 on a Young basket in the closing seconds of the first quarter.
UNO continued to shoot well in the second quarter, hitting .429 (6-of-14) of its shots while limiting Fort Wayne to .118 (2-of-17). The Maverick defense was the story of the second period holding the Mastodons without a field goal for the final 5:07 of the first half. Omaha took a 33-25 lead into the locker room at the intermission.
Inside the Second Half
The Mavericks pushed their lead to 10 points, 39-29, near the midway point of the third quarter on a Phillips layup. Fort Wayne trimmed the lead in half on five straight points from Lappenkuper. The UNO defense again would come to life, holding the Mastodons without a field goal the final 3:41 of the period. Vidal then scored four straight points to give Omaha its biggest lead of the game 47-36. Following a pair of Jaelencia Williams free throws, Walter sank a 3-pointer to end the third quarter with the Mavericks leading 50-38.
Omaha shot an impressive .571 (8-of-14) from the field while Fort Wayne connected on .474 (9-of-19) from the floor in the final quarter. Vidal’s floater with 7:08 remaining put the Mavericks up by 14 at 58-44. The Mastodons got back into the game with a 15-4 run, sparked by eight points from Young. UNO closed the game with a 15-2 run of its own, led by seven points by Vidal and five by Phillips.
With the victory, the Mavericks improved to 11-12 (2-8 Summit League), while the Mastodons dropped to 4-21 (1-11).
Noting Tonight’s game
– Amber Vidal scored 20+ points for the seventh time this season and had her first career-double-double.
– Vidal also scored her 200th career field goal.
– Courtney Vaccher now has 299 career rebounds.
Omaha returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 14, hosting South Dakota in its annual pink game. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Baxter Aren