OMAHA, Neb. — The Omaha men’s basketball team overcame an 11-point deficit Saturday night, defeating Oral Roberts 74-67 at Baxter Arena to open the new decade. The win was the Mavericks’ 14th straight home victory dating back to the 2018-19 season.
Omaha improves to 9-8 (2-0 Summit League) on the season, while the Golden Eagles drop to 7-8 (0-2).
Leaders for Omaha
Wanjang Tut led the Mavericks with a season-high 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting. Marlon Ruffin was outstanding off the bench, finishing with 15 points on a perfect 5-of-5 effort, including two key threes in the second half.
Leaders for Oral Roberts
ORU was led by double-doubles from Kevin Obanor (18 points/10 rebounds) and Emmanuel Nzekwesi (14 points/10 rebounds). Elijah Lufile added nine points and another eight boards.
Omaha shot 52.6% (30-of-57) to ORU’s 37.9% (22-of-58). The Golden Eagles had a 39-28 rebounding advantage, including 19-8 on the offensive end.
Inside the First Half
The first half included seven ties and five lead changes.
Omaha enjoyed an 8-0 run courtesy of four straight buckets from Ruffin and Thornhill to build a 28-22 advantage with just over six minutes to the half. But ORU closed the first stanza on a 17-3 scoring spurt to lead 41-33 at the midway point.
Inside the Second Half
Omaha battled back and took its first lead since the first half when Ruffin canned a 3-pointer at 8:48 to put the Mavericks up 58-57. He hit another corner three on the next possession, then added two free throws two minutes later to stretch the lead to 66-59.
ORU drew within one at 68-67 with three minutes left after a pair of Obanor foul shots. But Pile came up big over the last 2:43, swiping a pass, putting up a blocked shot and drawing a charge on the next three possessions to halt the Golden Eagles’ momentum.
After working time off the clock in the final minute, a Robinson layup made it 72-67 with 15 seconds to go. Thornhill punctuated the game with a dramatic two-handed slam at the buzzer.
Omaha shot an improved 60.7% (17-of-28) in the second half and got 11 points from Ruffin and 10 from Tut.
Noting Tonight’s Game
-Entering tonight’s game, Omaha’s home win streak tied for the 12th-longest nationally.
-The Mavericks’ 14 straight wins at Baxter Arena make up the longest streak of the Derrin Hansen era.
-Omaha has rallied from a double-figure deficit twice this season. Over Hansen’s 15-year career, the Mavericks have prevailed over a double-digit deficit 33 times, including 21 in the Division I era.
-The Mavericks have shot 50.0% as a team five times this year and have 18 straight wins when shooting 50.0% or better.
-Tonight’s win snapped ORU’s four-game win streak in the series and a two-game streak in Omaha.
Omaha visits North Dakota on Wednesday, Jan. 8, with tipoff set for 7 p.m. at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks, N.D.
OMAHA, Neb. – The Omaha women’s basketball team rallied back from a second half deficit and defeated Oral Roberts 60-54 in Baxter Arena Saturday afternoon.
The Mavericks (6-9, 1-1) limited Oral Roberts (5-10, 0-2) to just 17 second half points for the win.
LEADERS FOR OMAHA
Mariah Murdie led the way with 13 points and eight rebounds on 5-of-11 shooting. Josie Filer and Rayanna Carter followed with 10 points each. Claire Killian finished with eight points on a pair of threes made.
LEADERS FOR ORAL ROBERTS
Keni Jo Lippe posted a game-high 18 points on 5-of-13 shooting. Rylie Torrey was the other double-digit scorer for the Golden Eagles with 10 points.
Omaha shot 23-for-57 from the field (40.4%), 5-of-20 (25%) from deep and 9-for-10 (90%) from the free throw line. Oral Roberts went 20-for-49 (40.8%) from the floor, 4-of-16 (25%) beyond the arc and 10-for-13 (76.9%) at the charity stripe. Omaha forced 20 ORU turnovers which is the most against a Division I opponent this season. ORU won the rebounding battle 33-31.
INSIDE THE FIRST HALF
Both teams were tied at 15-all after one quarter of play. Oral Roberts, however, took control of the game in the second quarter on a 22-14 surge and built a 37-29 lead at the half – courtesy of a 14-6 run in the final 4:22 of the half.
INSIDE THE SECOND HALF
Omaha rallied back and eventually took a 40-37 lead on back-to-back Killian threes at the 6:27 mark in the third. That proved to be the turning point of the game as the Mavericks never trailed from that point forward. Oral Roberts tied the score at 47-all in the opening minute of the fourth, but the Mavericks responded and outscored them 13-9 in the final 10 minutes.
ORU cut the Omaha lead to one (55-54) with a three by Lippe with 2:14 to go, but the Mavericks answered with an Ella Ogier layup. Up three with nine seconds to go, Ogier knocked down her second free throw and put the game out of reach. Two more Filer free throws ended the game with a 6-point win.
• Omaha trailed by eight (37-29) at the half. The last time Omaha won when trailing at the half was Dec. 4 against Kansas City.
• The Mavericks erased a four-game skid to the Golden Eagles with the win.
• Mariah Murdie tied her season high of 13 points for the third time this season.
• Omaha is now 3-1 in games decided by 5-10 points.
• Mariah Murdie’s 13 points mark her 15th double-digit scoring effort this season and the 15th of her career.
• Josie Filer’s 10 points marks her third double-digit scoring effort this season (ninth career).
• Rayanna Carter notched her fourth double-digit scoring effort this season (19th career).
Omaha hits the road for two straight with a Thursday, Jan. 9, matchup at North Dakota scheduled for 7 p.m. Two days later, the Mavericks stay on the road for a Saturday, Jan. 11, game against South Dakota in Vermillion. For more information, visit OMavs.com.