The Mavericks dropped their sixth game in a row Thursday night and have now given up over 90 points in four consecutive games. Omaha (3-18, 2-8) fell to Oral Roberts (14-7, 8-2), 100-88, but the final score does not come close to telling the whole story at Baxter Arena.
Omaha kept it close, but ultimately ran out of gas in the second half as the Golden Eagles caught fire and could not be stopped. ORU carried a six-point lead into the second half and before some fans were even back in their seats, the Golden Eagles were up by 15 points at the first media timeout of the second half.
That 15 point-lead ballooned all the way up to 23 before Omaha went on a run at the end of the game to make the result more desirable. Max Abmas was the star of the game, which should come as no surprise, considering the junior had draft buzz at the end of last season. Abmas finished the game with a team-high 28 points and four assists, but it wasn’t the stats that stood out.
Abmas was the engine that made Oral Roberts run, and without him, this game might have been closer. The Golden Eagles also saw good production from their bench, as Issac Mcbride scored 18 and Elijah Lufile scored 13. Deshang Weaver also had a double-double for ORU with 13 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots.
Omaha was able to put up 88 points, which would usually be enough for a win on most nights. However, Omaha fell apart defensively in the second half, giving up 58 points to ORU. The Mavericks defended the three-ball well in the first half, but the Golden Eagles came out red hot in the second half. ORU made 10 of their 18 shots from behind the arc.
Akol Arop was one of the bright spots for Omaha in the loss. The Nebraska transfer pulled in a season-high 13 rebounds and was flying all over the court on the defensive end. Arop recorded a block, a steal and also had the play of the night with a posterizing dunk in the first half. Arop’s dunk is worthy of being featured on SportsCenter.
Nick Ferrarini led Omaha with 20 points off the bench, which was the 10th time that Ferrarini has scored double-digit points this season. Felix Lemetti contributed 17 points, five assists and the Swede had a solid night from behind the arc, finishing 4-for-7. Frankie Fidler also continued his strong freshman campaign with 14 points and five rebounds.
Omaha will look to put an end to the losing streak as they host UMKC at Baxter Arena on Saturday, Jan. 29. The Mavericks lost to UMKC earlier this season. Following that, the Mavericks will head out on a two-game road trip that will start at North Dakota State on Feb. 3. After that, the Mavericks will head from Fargo to Grand Forks to take on North Dakota on Saturday, Feb. 5.