OMAHA, Neb. — Ayo Akinwole registered his second straight 20-point scoring performance Saturday night as the Omaha men’s basketball team fell 75-73 to Western Illinois at Baxter Arena.
Leaders for Omaha
A night after finishing with a career-high 27 points, Akinwole came up big again, finishing with 21 to lead the way for Omaha. The senior captain hit 8-of-11 from the floor and added three rebounds and three assists.
Marlon Ruffin posted 13 points with a trio of 3-pointers, and Wanjang Tut had 12 points and six rebounds. La’Mel Robinson matched Tut with another 12 points, as well as three assists and a game-best three steals.
Matt Pile also pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds alongside five points and a season-high five blocks.
Leaders for Western Illinois
Will Carius led all scorers with 22 points, and Colton Sandage and Justin Brookens added 11 points apiece.
Omaha shot 44% (28-of-63) to WIU’s 38% (24-of-63), but the Leathernecks were 96% (21-of-22) from the free throw line to the Mavericks’ 60% (12-of-20). WIU had a 43-37 rebounding advantage.
Inside the First Half
Akinwole got it started with the first score of the game, but WIU took the lead and held on to it for the rest of the half. The Mavericks trailed by as many as 11 when Burrell made it 27-16 with six minutes to the break.
Akinwole poured in a quick five points as part of a 7-0 run that trimmed the margin to 31-29 three minutes later.
WIU held a 37-32 edge at the midway point.
Inside the Second Half
A back-and-forth second half saw five ties and 10 lead changes. The game stalled three times in the final five and half minutes before a pair of Akinwole free throws put Omaha back on top, 70-69, with 3:14 to play. It was Omaha’s final lead of the night.
Still, the game came down to the wire, as the Mavericks found themselves down 73-70 with 27 seconds remaining. Nick Ferrarini hit a pair at the stripe with seven seconds left, which cut it to 73-72.
After Brookens made two more at the line put WIU up by three again — 75-72 — Robinson was fouled and hit his first attempt at the stripe. He then grabbed the rebound on the ensuing intentional miss, and a final layup missed as time expired.
Omaha is now 2-16 (0-8 Summit League) on the season, while WIU improves to 5-12 (3-7) with its third straight win.
Omaha visits Kansas City for a two-game series starting next Friday, Feb. 12, with tipoff set for 7 p.m. at the Swinney Center in Kansas City, Mo.
OMAHA, Neb. – The Omaha women’s basketball team concluded its weekend vs. Western Illinois on Sunday, falling 89-66 at Baxter Arena.
The loss drops the Mavericks to 2-9 (1-5 Summit League) while the Leathernecks move to 5-15 (4-8).
Leaders for Omaha
Sophie Johnston and Ella Ogier led the Mavericks in scoring with 11 points apiece. Claire Killian had 10 points and pulled in a team-high five boards. Sarah Schmitt added 10 points with four rebounds and three assists.
Leaders for Western Illinois
Anna Deets and Elizabeth Lutz scored a game-high 33 points. Deets was 7-of-13 from beyond the arc while Lutz went 5-of-9 from long distance. Grace Gilmore and Sam Pryor chipped in 11 points each while Evan Zars grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.
Omaha shot 43.1& (25-of-58) to Western Illinois’ 44.3% (31-of-70). The Mavericks forced 12 WIU turnovers and outscored the Leathernecks in the paint, 32-22. Western Illinois shot 19-of-43 from three-point range and outrebounded the Mavericks 42-33.
Inside the First Quarter
Ogier, Killian and Josie Filer combined to give the Mavericks and 8-3 lead in the first four minutes. Western Illinois shot 5-of-8 from three-point range to grab a 19-15 lead after the first quarter.
Inside the Second Quarter
WIU shot 5-of-11 from long distance while outscoring Omaha 25-10 to hold a 44-25 lead at the half. Killian scored three points while Filer, Schmitt and Ogier chipped in two points apiece.
Inside the Third Quarter
The Mavericks poured in 27 points, outscoring the Leathernecks 27-21. Johnston hit a trey with 50 seconds left to bring the Mavericks within 13 at 65-52.
Omaha was 9-of-12 from the floor, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Johnston scored 11 points while Killian and Ogier tallied five points each.
Inside the Fourth Quarter
The Leathernecks knocked down five treys to stave off any Maverick rally in the final 10 minutes. Western Illinois outscored the Mavericks 24-14 to clinch the 89-66.
Omaha hits the road for a pair of games at Kansas City next weekend. The Mavericks and Roos take the court on Friday, Feb. 12 and Saturday, Feb. 13. Tipoff for both games is set for 2 p.m.