OMAHA, Neb. – The Omaha women’s basketball program dropped an 83-69 decision inside Baxter Arena against the visiting Western Illinois Leathernecks Friday evening.
The Mavericks fall to 6-13 overall and 1-5 in league action, while Western improves to 11-9 and 5-2 in league play.
LEADERS FOR OMAHA
Mariah Murdie tallied a season-high 20 points with four rebounds and three blocks. Ella Ogier narrowly missed a double-double with a career-high 17 points and nine boards. Rayanna Carter was the final Maverick in double figures with 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting.
LEADERS FOR WESTERN ILLINOIS
The Leathernecks were led by Danni Nichols’ double-double of 24 points and 10 boards on 8-of-11 shooting. Three other Western players notched double-digit scoring efforts in Carla Flores (18), Olivia Kaufmann (14) and Evan Zars (10).
Omaha shot 28-for-65 (43.1%) from the field and was limited to 2-for-20 (10%) from downtown. The Mavericks, however shot 11-for-12 (91.7%) from the line. Western Illinois tallied 30 made baskets on 65 attempts (46.2%) from the floor, 10-for-28 from three (35.7%) and 13-for-20 (65%) at the charity stripe. The Mavericks won the battle in the paint 45-36, but the Leathernecks scored 23 points off 17 Omaha turnovers.
INSIDE THE FIRST HALF
At the first media timeout of the game, Omaha fell into a 16-12 hole. Despite a quick Leatherneck spurt, the Mavericks were able to cut the score at 23-21 after one period of play. The Leathernecks opened the second quarter on a 9-0 run and put the Mavericks in a double-digit deficit at the 5:04 mark. Omaha fell behind by as many as 13 (43-30), but dwindled the opposition’s lead at 43-31 at half.
INSIDE THE SECOND HALF
A 21-17 third quarter fell in favor of the Mavericks. The double-digit deficit was cut to just six points after a pair of Josie Filer free throws with 1:21 to go in the frame. Despite another Leatherneck surge, Omaha kept it to eight points after three quarters when Kia Wilson got the and-1, which made it 60-52. In the fourth, Omaha got to within six points (60-54) on a jumper by Murdie. That proved to be the closest the Mavericks could come to striking distance as the Leathernecks closed out the final quarter with the 83-69 win on four made shot from beyond the arc.
• Omaha has shot 90 percent or better from the line in five of its last six games.
• Murdie notched her second-career 20-plus-point performance.
• Omaha falls to 15-4 all-time against Western Illinois.
• The Mavericks drop to 5-5 at home this season.
Omaha has a quick turnaround as the team returns to action this Sunday, Jan. 26, at 2 p.m. against the visiting Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons. For more information, visit OMavs.com.