OMAHA, Neb. — The Omaha men’s basketball team came from behind to win Saturday night, defeating Purdue Fort Wayne 75-71 at Baxter Arena. With their 16th straight home win, the Mavericks improve to 12-10 (5-2 Summit League) and are half a game back from first place in the conference standings. The Mastodons drop to 9-13 (2-5).
Leaders for Omaha
JT Gibson knocked down five 3-pointers en route to a team-leading 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting, adding three rebounds, three assists and a steal in 36 minutes of work.
Matt Pile posted his second straight double-double — and eighth of the season — on 12 points and 11 rebounds. KJ Robinson and Marlon Ruffin matched each other with 11 points, with Robinson dishing out a season-high six assists. Zach Thornhill contributed another 10 points with three boards, four assists and a steal.
Leaders for Purdue Fort Wayne
Jarred Godfrey totaled a game-high 24 points with four rebounds, five assists and four steals. Deonte Billups added 13 points alongside five caroms, three assists and a pair of steals.
Omaha shot 50.0% (27-of-54) to Purdue Fort Wayne’s 48.1% (26-of-54) and had a slight edge on the glass, 31-30. The Mavericks limited themselves to nine miscues and outscored the Mastodons 21-10 off turnovers.
Inside the First Half
Omaha started 7-of-9 from the floor to open the game, assuming a 20-7 lead — their largest of the night — by the first timeout after a combined four triples from its senior duo of Gibson and Robinson. The Mavericks, who opened the game on an 8-0 run, held a double-digit lead much of the way and had a 39-32 advantage at the break.
Gibson had 13 points with three treys in the opening 20, and the Mavericks shot 50.0% (14-of-28) as a team.
Inside the Second Half
Purdue Fort Wayne stormed back in the second half, tying the game at 44-44 before going ahead for the first time at 53-50 on a Marcus DeBerry three with 12:08 to go.
It was back and forth from there until the Mastodons build to their largest lead when a 5-0 run made it 71-66 with four minutes left. But a Pile putback cut it to three just before the final media timeout, and Gibson came up big with a three from the left wing to knot it once more at 71-71 with 1:55 remaining. Buckets from Robinson and Ruffin finished it off, as Omaha scored nine unanswered points to close the game.
Noting Tonight’s Game
-Omaha entered the weekend tied for the nation’s eighth-longest home win streak. The Mavericks are a perfect 10-0 at home in 2019-20.
-Purdue Fort Wayne leads the all-time series with Omaha 11-8, but the Mavericks have won five straight and three consecutive at Baxter Arena.
-Omaha’s crowd of 2,704 was its third-largest of the season.
-The Mavericks shot 50.0% for the seventh time this year.
-Omaha’s nine turnovers marked their fourth single-digit turnover effort of the season.
Omaha welcomes South Dakota on Sunday, Feb. 2, with tipoff set for Noon at Baxter Arena.
OMAHA, Neb. – The Omaha women’s basketball program fell 58-57 at home to Purdue Fort Wayne on a pair of late Mastodon free throws with under a second to play.
Purdue Fort Wayne’s (5-15, 1-6) Hannah Albrecht sank both shots from the charity stripe for the win over the Mavericks, who fall to 6-14 and 1-6 in league play.
LEADERS FOR OMAHA
Ella Ogier capped off another strong performance with a career-high 21 points on 7-for-13 shooting with six assists and seven rebounds. She also went a perfect 6-for-6 at the lie. Josie Filer followed with 13 points and five rebounds with a block. Mariah Murdie posted nine points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
LEADERS FOR PURDUE FORT WAYNE
Riley Ott posted a team-high 16 points, while Albrecht followed up with 14. Anna Lappenkuper rounded out the Mastodon double-digit scoring effort with 10 points.
Omaha went 21-of-55 (38.2%) from the floor and 4-of-12 (33.3%) from beyond the arc. At the charity stripe, Omaha went 11-of-17 (64.7%). The Mavericks commanded the rebounding battle 44-24. Both teams scored 26 points in the paint. Purdue Fort Wayne went 22-of-52 from the field (42.3%), 5-for-16 from three (31.3%) and 9-of-10 from the line (90%).
INSIDE THE FIRST HALF
Omaha opened the game on a 5-0 run, but fell behind after seven-straight Mastodon points. Omaha fought back and evened the score at 15-all, but a late three by the ‘Dons put them ahead 18-15 after one quarter of play. The Mavericks controlled the later portion of the second quarter. With the score tied at 25-all, the Mavericks put together an 8-0 run over the final 4:26 of the half and led 33-28.
INSIDE THE SECOND HALF
The third quarter featured a 14-0 Mastodon run, as the Mavericks were held scoreless in the first four minutes of the frame. Heading into the fourth, Omaha trailed by two (44-42). Despite being in the late hole, Omaha evened the score at 46-all with 7:52 to go after a Murdie layup. With 2:45 to go, Ogier stole the ball and went coast-to-coast for the layup and gave the Mavericks a 50-48 lead. Purdue Fort Wayne was forced to foul as the Mavericks went up 55-51 with 22 seconds to go. Up four with seven seconds to go, Purdue Fort Wayne’s Hannah Hess knocked down a three and pulled the team to within one (57-56). A late foul put the visitors on the line, as Albrecht’s free throws sealed the 1-point win over Omaha.
Omaha stays inside Baxter Arena for a Wednesday, Jan. 29, showdown against South Dakota. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m.