By Andrew Nelson
Omaha @ Denver
Last Thursday the Omaha men’s basketball team began a three game road swing inside Magness Arena in Denver.
Senior Jake White scored a career-high 29 points to go along with nine rebounds. White was also 9-for-9 from the free-throw line. Sophomore Tra’Shawn Thurman added 10 points with 6 rebounds, and NCAA-steals leader Tra-Deon Hollins got in the mix with 9 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Hollins is averaging 4.25 steal per game right now, the best in the country.
Denver was led by C.J. Bobbitt who scored 17 for the Pioneers. Oma-ha shot 49 percent from the field going 24-for-49, and they outrebounded Denver 34-to-26. The Mavs also dished the ball around well last week and led in assists 13-to-7. Both teams gave the ball away nearly as much as the other with
Omaha leading the turnover battle 13-to-12.
A slow start for both teams saw a tie early, and then a 7-0 run by the Mavs. That run stuck for most of the first half and Omaha went into the break up by 7, 28 to 21. Denver would get within four with around 10:33 to go in the second half, but Omaha would hold strong and pull away for a double-digit lead which they held for the remainder of the game.
The Mavericks used a 20-for-22 effort at the free-throw line, 91 percent, to help seal the victory down the stretch. Denver was just as good at the stripe shooting 16-for-17 from the line for 94 percent on the night.
With the win, the Mavs tied their total amount of Summit League wins from a year ago with five. The Mavs finally got results in Denver, as they lost last year’s game to the Pioneers by 14 on the road.
Omaha @ Oral Roberts
Saturday Omaha traveled south to Tulsa, Oklahoma to take on Oral Roberts University, a men’s squad the Mavericks still haven’t defeat-ed yet in their time in Division-1. However, the Mavs pulled a close one out to get their first win ever against ORU, and take sole-pos-session of the lead in the Summit League Conference.
Senior Maverick Devin Patterson scored his 1,000th career point in the contest. Patterson is the 36th Maverick to earn that honor. He had 21 points on the night with 6 rebounds.
TraDeon Hollins loaded the stat sheet for the Mavericks, tallying 17 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and five more steals to go with his NCAA-leading average of more than four per game. Jake White scored 13, while Omaha-native Tre’Shawn Thurman racked up 16 points before he fouled out of the game.
Oral Roberts was led by Obi Emegano who scored 29 points. Eme-gano is currently seventh in the nation in scoring averaging 22.7 points per game for the Golden Eagles.
Oral Roberts (11-11, 3-5) got out to an early three-point lead, but Omaha would take the lead shortly after. ORU would get within four twice in the first half before Oma-ha stormed ahead for a nine-point halftime lead, 46-37.
The Golden Eagles would get within four again to start the second half before the Mavs stretched out what would be their largest lead of the night at 13 with just about 13 minutes to go. ORU then went on a tear, and clawed their way back to take the lead 72-71 from a Jalen Bradley three-pointer with about four-and-a-half to go in the game.
Omaha would quickly retake the lead, but ORU stuck within one-possession the majority of the way until a couple jumpers, one from Tra-Deon Hollins, and anoth-er from Tre’Shawn Thurman iced it for the Mavs