OMAHA, Neb. -– A second-quarter surge provided the spark for Omaha women’s basketball in the 96-69 season-opening win over USC Upstate
The Mavericks saw seven players reach double figures in the season debut. Rayanna Carter had a team-high 17 points, while Kalen Phillips tied her career-high for the second time with 14 points. Elena Pilakouta had 12 points and the duo of Sophie Johnston and Claire Killian netted 11 points apiece.
Omaha (1-0) and the Spartans (1-1) exchanged buckets midway through the first, but the Mavericks were able to pull ahead as many as six. USC Upstate closed out the final minutes of the first quarter on a 5-0 run and cut the Omaha lead to one at 17-16.
In the second quarter, Omaha surged ahead with a massive 22-0 run over a six-minute span to increase the lead to 49-21 at the half. In total, the Mavericks outscored the Spartans 32-5 in the quarter alone.
The lead hit 30 after Carter nailed a transition jumper to go in double figures early in the third. With 8:15 to go in the quarter, Johnston got an and-1 to put the Mavericks up 56-23. Later in the second, with the shot clock winding down, Pilakouta found Phillips for a bucket from beyond the arc to keep it at 67-39 with four minutes to go in the quarter.
Despite being outscored 26-22 in the third, Omaha closed out the final quarter 22-25 to win by 27 points. Omaha won the battle inside the paint 54-30 and had more second-chance points than the Spartans (18-13).
- Omaha outscored the Spartans by 27 points (32-5) in the second quarter, which marks the most points UNO has outscored an opponent for a single quarter since Nov. 25, 2016 (vs. Indiana State, 25-9).
- The last time Omaha had five or more players in double figures was on Jan. 18, 2018 against Denver at home.
- Omaha won its first season-opener since Nov. 14, 2015 (vs. UCF, 75-60 at home).
Omaha hits the road to Kansas State for a Monday, Nov. 12, matchup in Manhattan, Kan. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.