Mavericks’ comeback bid no good against St. Thomas


Mitchell Cutcher

Sports Editor

Omaha’s bench watches the play on the court. Photo courtesy of

Omaha would lose their sixth straight game Thursday against the Tommies and fell to 3-9 in Summit League play. The Mavericks had a chance at a comeback late in the game but would run out of time and lose 89-83.

St. Thomas came into the game ranked 84th in the country in three-point shooting; they had shot 35.8% from deep this season. The Tommies quickly proved that the Mavericks would need to respect their perimeter offense as they hit two early threes. Omaha would respond with a three of their own, but St. Thomas would take a 12-5 lead five minutes into the game. 

Coach Chris Crutchfield said the team didn’t guard the perimeter well in the first half but picked it up in the second.

“Part of the game plan was taking away the three ball because we gave up 11 at their place,” Crutchfield said. “In the second half we did a great job of taking away the three ball.”

The kids on the team would once again prove that they are in fact alright. When Crutchfield gave Frankie Fidler a break in the first half, it was Tony Osburn who picked up the scoring. Osburn scored six early points and picked up an assist in that period. 

Fouls would be a problem for the Tommies in the first half. Parker Bjorklund picked up his second foul with just under 13 minutes to go in the half. From there St. Thomas would put the Mavericks in the bonus with 5:30 remaining in the half. Ultimately, the Mavericks would not be able to capitalize, as St. Thomas would not commit another foul on the floor for the remainder of the half.

At the end of the first half Omaha had a chance to extend their three point lead, but Luke Jungers was called for a moving screen on the inbounds. This set up the Tommies with the ball, who took their chance and ran with it. Brooks Allen hit a three to end the half and the two teams would be tied at 44.

“It was a swing in momentum,” Crutchfield said. “We made a defensive error right there on the inbound play, couldn’t get to the shooter, and he knocked down a three. Of course, the momentum shifted a little bit as we headed to the locker room.”

Bjorklund would make his presence known early in the second half after missing a good portion of the first half with foul trouble. The graduate forward scored seven quick points and was the Tommies player that they would look to for points in the second half. Bjorklund finished with 17 points and six rebounds.

Frankie Fidler built on his 15 first half points and would once again be the Mavericks’ go-to player in the second. The sophomore forward finished with a season high of 33 points, and three rebounds. Fidler has now scored in double figures in 16 out of his last 18 games.