Omaha loses nail-biter to Oral Roberts


Mitchell Cutcher
Sports Editor

The Mavericks lost against Oral Roberts 92-89. Photo courtesy of UNO.

The Mavericks may have lost to Oral Roberts 92-89, but it was a game that Omaha should not hang their heads over. It was an early game in Summit League play that shows where this team is heading under Coach Chris Crutchfield, and what has already changed from last season.  

“A lot more fight,” said Frankie Fidler on what changed this season against Oral Roberts. “Our main point when we got back from break was fighting for this game. I think we did a pretty good job, just some possessions we weren’t fighting but a lot of the game we did fight.” 

This fight was primarily showcased from behind the three-point line for both teams, as they both shot over 50% from behind the arc. At several points in the game the teams were trading off long range bombs. This allowed players like Max Abmas from Oral Roberts, and Luke Jungers from Omaha to shine, as they combined for 10-14 from deep. 

One factor in this game for Omaha was foul trouble. Early in the game the Mavericks found themselves with both starting guards, JJ White and Tony Osburn, in foul trouble with two fouls a piece. One positive that came from this was Fidler’s ability to run the offense was shown, and he looked comfortable doing so in route to a 20-point performance.  

One could say that what Oral Roberts is now, is what Omaha could strive to be in the future. Oral Roberts is a team that is built around the ability to shoot the three ball, but most importantly they are a senior led team that ranks 28th in the country in D1 experience. As for Omaha they are 355th in the country in D1 experience but Coach Crutchfield has a young core that could be around for another two years.  

“It gives me encouragement that we can compete with anyone in the league,” said Coach Crutchfield on what the game against Oral Roberts tells him where his team is. “I wish we had won; I don’t like losing in this building. For us to get to where I think we could be as a basketball program,  we have to win home games. So, we have to find a way to get this one back.” 

Fidler led Omaha in scoring with 20 points and added seven rebounds along with five assists. Luke Jungers had double digit points in his third straight game with 16. Tony Osburn scored 14 points, grabbed four rebounds, and assisted on three Omaha shots.  

The Mavericks will make their first road trip of Summit League play when they travel to Western Illinois on Jan. 5.