OMAHA, Neb. – With 0.2 seconds remaining in the game, senior Mitch Hahnburied a buzzer-beating jumper from the baseline to give the Omaha men’s basketball team an 85-84 victory over South Dakota State Thursday night at Baxter Arena. The win was the Mavericks’ third straight and pulled them within a half-game of the Summit League lead at 15-9 (9-2), while SDSU’s nine-game win streak was snapped as the Jacks dropped to 20-7 (10-2).
A record crowd of 4,228 was on hand for the Valentine’s Day battle, besting Baxter Arena’s previous basketball mark of 4,106 set last season vs. Fort Wayne.
Leaders for Omaha
Hahn scored a team-high 22 points on 9-for-13 shooting – including 4-of-5 from deep — with eight rebounds and a career-high seven assists to lead the Mavericks. A trio of teammates followed with 17 points apiece in Matt Pile, KJ Robinson and Zach Jackson. Pile also added a team-high nine boards while Jackson dished out five assists and grabbed six rebounds.
Leaders for South Dakota State
David Jenkins notched a game-high 34 points with 10 made 3-pointers while Mike Daum tallied a double-double of 29 points and 12 rebounds. Skyler Flatten was the third Jackrabbit to reach double figures as he scored 10 points.
Omaha shot .500 (36-of-72) from the field and .333 (9-of-27) from deep. The Mavericks outscored the Jackrabbits 38-24 in the paint, 11-9 on fast break points and 11-9 off turnovers. They committed just five miscues themselves, marking a season low.
Inside the First Half
Omaha fell into an 11-7 deficit after three early triples from Jenkins. The SDSU lead stretched to 10 at the 9:02 mark after a pair of Daum free throws. Omaha cut the deficit to four at 23-19 after a jumper by Ayo Akinwole, but the Jackrabbits were able to maintain a double-digit lead and went up 43-30 by the half.
Inside the Second Half
Eleven seconds into the second stanza, Omaha found itself in its largest deficit of the game at 16 after Jenkins buried a three. The Mavericks, however, refused to quit and sparked an 8-0 run with 16:37 to go. Nearly three minutes later, a Jackson jumper and a three by Akinwole capped off the 18-0 run and gave Omaha a 51-49 edge.
The Mavericks hit their largest lead of the game at six, 71-65, with 6:37 to go off a Hahn jumper. SDSU was able to cut it to a single-possession game with 4:43 remaining when Jenkins drove in for another layup. As five seconds remained, the Jackrabbits regained the lead when Daum drew a foul and notched a pair of free throws on a one-and-one to put the Mavericks down 84-83. Following two timeouts, Hahn’s game-winning fadeaway jumper in the closing ticks finished it off at 85-84, the 13th and final lead change of the night.
Noting Tonight’s Game
-Omaha has overcome a double-digit deficit four times this season. In the Derrin Hansen era, the Mavericks have worked past a double-digit deficit 30 times, including 18 in the Division I era.
–Mitch Hahn extended his double-digit scoring streak to 14 games.
-Omaha has now won 12 of its last 14 games.
-The Mavericks have had single-digit turnovers in 11 of their last 15 games.
–JT Gibson remains the only Maverick to make at least one three pointer in all 24 games this season.
-Tonight marked the Mavericks’ first win over South Dakota State since Feb. 10, 2016, which also happened at Baxter Arena. It is the fourth overall win over the Jackrabbits in the Division I era.
Omaha welcomes third-place Purdue Fort Wayne for another top-three Summit League matchup on Saturday, Feb. 16 at Baxter Arena. Opening tip is 4:30 p.m.