SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The Omaha men’s basketball team’s 2019-20 season came to an end Sunday night, as the fifth-seeded Mavericks fell 79-52 to fourth-seeded Oral Roberts in the quarterfinal round of the Summit League Championship at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.
Leaders for Omaha
Matt Pile tied a Summit League tournament record with a career-high 21 rebounds, adding two points, two blocks, an assist and a steal.
Leaders for Oral Roberts
Max Abmas led all scorers with 20 points with the help of six 3-pointers, and Deondre Burns had 17 points with six assists. Emmanuel Nzekwesi and Kevin Obanor each had 13 points, and Obanor grabbed 11 rebounds for a double-double.
Omaha struggled offensively, shooting 27.1% (16-of-59) for the night, while ORU finished at 46.2% (30-of-65) with nine threes. The Golden Eagles committed just seven turnovers.
Bolstered by Pile’s career effort on the glass, the Mavericks outrebounded ORU 47-39.
Inside the First Half
Pile went to work on the boards in the first six minutes of the game, pulling down 11 rebounds. He would eventually total 17 in the opening 20 minutes, which torched his previous career high of 16.
After Omaha led early, ORU capitalized on a string of four Maverick miscues over two minutes and used a 9-0 run to go ahead 16-9. But the Mavericks responded with a spurt of their own, as a Tut layup trimmed it to 18-15 by the under-8 media timeout. A Robinson three then made it a one-point game at 21-20 with 5:49 to go.
ORU took it out to a five-point lead, but a Robinson jumper and a Ruffin layup cut it to one once more, 25-24, with 1:39 left. Nzekwesi hit a layup just before the horn to put the Golden Eagles up 27-24 at the half.
Robinson had nine points to lead Omaha, and Gibson had another seven.
Inside the Second Half
ORU shot 54.3% in the second half, scoring 11 of the first 15 points with the help of back-to-back threes from Abmas and Francis Lacis. The Mavericks managed to cut the deficit to as little as 10, but two Abmas triples with just over five minutes left started a late ORU run that put the game out of reach.
Noting Tonight’s Game
-Tonight was the first Summit League Tournament meeting between Omaha and Oral Roberts.
-Pile now shares the league’s single-game tournament rebounding record with ORU’s Rocky Walls, who grabbed 21 vs. Southern Utah on March 1, 1998.
–JT Gibson finishes his career at second all-time for 3-pointers made (230), 11th for field goals made (468), 13th for scoring (1,309 points), 17th for steals (111) and 18th for assists (244).
–KJ Robinson finishes his career at 11th for 3-pointers made (162), 14th for assists (269) and 23rd for scoring (1,112 points).
Omaha ends the season with a record of 16-16 (9-7 Summit League).