Omaha runs in to foul trouble in loss to Ball State


Mitchell Cutcher


The UNO men’s basketball team gets into foul trouble before a tough seven game road trip. Photo courtesy of Mark Kuhlmann.

The Mavericks found themselves in early foul trouble, an issue which persisted throughout the game as Omaha had four players finish with four fouls each. Along with foul trouble, Omaha struggled to get their shooters going in their 71-61 loss to the Cardinals.

It is no secret the Mavericks want to play fast. When Omaha pulled in a rebound, and head coach Chris Crutchfield saw a chance to push a fast break, he yelled to his team, “Push it.” However, when Omaha found themselves in a foul fest like they did against Ball State, where each team had 20 plus fouls called on them, it slowed the game down and forced Omaha to use different lineups they don’t normally use. 

“When you get off in foul trouble like we did early, and you don’t have certain guys on the floor, it hurts us offensively,” said Coach Crutchfield. “Offensively you’re trying to run certain things with Dylan in the game, and we try to run things with Kenny in the game, and then we have to go small ball and play Marquel at the five, and we don’t want to do that.” 

Offensively it was a night to forget for the Mavericks, as Omaha shot 35% from the field. Frankie Fidler failed to find his offensive momentum during the matchup, and finished the contest shooting 2-12 from the field, and 0-3 from behind the arc. Even though Omaha had a poor night shooting, Coach Crutchfield urged his players to keep on shooting. 

“Just keep shooting,” said Coach Crutchfield. “We got guys that can make shots, we got good shooters, and they’re in the gym working every day. So just keep shooting, you have nights like that, you’re going to play 30 games and 10 times you’re probably not going to shoot it great.”

Omaha was led in scoring by JJ White, who scored 15 points, recorded seven rebounds, and assisted five shots. Marquel Sutton joined White as the only other Maverick to score double digits with 10 points. Tony Osburn also had a solid game off the bench as he scored nine points and played solid minutes against Ball State.

The Mavericks followed up the game with a blowout loss to Iowa Monday, 100-64, beginning a seven-game road trip. During the tour, Omaha will travel to Florida, Mississippi, Texas, Iowa, and Montana.

“Well, I think it’s going to build toughness, and we’re going to build some comradery, because we are going to be together for a long time,” said Coach Crutchfield on his team’s road trip. “So, those guys are going to get to be around each other for a bit longer in the hotels, on the bus, and airports. We’ll continue to grow, we’re a young basketball team, and I think this will help us.”