BOZEMAN, Mont. – The Omaha women’s basketball team held the lead late Sunday, but the Mavericks could not put away Montana State as the Bobcats snatched a 59-56 victory over UNO at Worthington Arena.
The Mavericks are now 5-6 on the season, while the Bobcats improved to 5-4.
Leaders for Omaha
Josie Filer led Omaha with a career-high 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting with six rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot.
Leaders for Montana State
Montana State had two players reach double-figures led by Oliana Squires’ game-high 19 points. Squires added seven rebounds, eight assists and three steals. Claire Lundberg added 12 points, two rebounds and two assists.
Omaha converted 43.1 percent (22-of-51) of its shots from the field, including 46.2 percent (6-of-13) from long range. The Mavericks hit 75.0 percent (6-of-8) of their free throws. UNO committed 20 turnovers compared to MSU’s 11.
Montana State shot 37.3 percent (22-of-59) from the field and 20.0 percent (6-of-30) from 3-point distance. The Bobcats were 60.0 percent (9-of-15) at the free throw line. MSU outrebounded UNO 36-33 and had 14 steals.
Inside the First Half
Omaha jumped out to a 17-5 lead after the first quarter as they shot 53.8 percent (7-of-13) from the field in the opening stanza. Johnston and Rayanna Carter put the Mavericks on top 5-0 early on before the Bobcats tied the game at 5-5 at the midway point of the period. Killian scored nine points in UNO’s 12-0 run to end the quarter.
Omaha stretched its lead to 24-10 with 7:30 left in the second quarter on a Filer layup. Montana State responded with an 11-0 spurt over the next 4:21 to close within three points. A pair of Romekia Wallace free throws and a layup by Mariah Murdie stretched the Mavericks lead to 30-23 at the break.
Inside the Second Half
Both teams exchanged baskets to open the second half, before Omaha put some distance between the two teams with a 7-0 run, capped off by four straight points from Filer. Wallace’s layup at the buzzer gave the Mavericks a 48-39 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Mavericks advanced the lead to 54-41 with 7:46 left in the fourth quarter on an Alicia Mountain bucket. Montana State stepped up its game, outscoring Omaha 16-0 over the next 7:25 to take a 57-54 lead with under a minute to play. Filer put the Mavericks back within a point, 57-56, coming out of a timeout, but Squires hit a pair of free throws to seal the 59-56 Bobcat win.
Omaha returns to the court on Friday, Dec. 21, against Northern Iowa. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. in Cedar Falls, Iowa.