SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The eighth-seeded Omaha men’s basketball team’s bid to upset No. 1 seed South Dakota State fell short Saturday night in the Summit League Tournament quarterfinals, 84-81 at the Sanford Pentagon.
Leaders for Omaha
Bolstered by six 3-pointers, Ayo Akinwole led all scorers with a game-high 26 points on 9-of-16 shooting.
Darrius Hughes pulled down a team-leading six rebounds.
Leaders for South Dakota State
Douglas Wilson led the Jackrabbits with 25 points on 11-of-20 shooting. Baylor Scheierman notched a double-double on 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Matt Dentlinger added 14 points.
Wilson and Scheierman also dished out a game-high seven assists apiece.
SDSU shot 53.4% (31-of-58) to Omaha’s 41.5% (27-of-65). The Mavericks hit a season-high 11 threes as a team but got to the line just nine times, while SDSU was 14-of-15 at the stripe.
SDSU had a 34-31 rebounding advantage and outscored Omaha 44-20 in the paint.
Inside the First Half
The game had a back-and-forth start, but Booth drilled all three of his 3-pointers for the day en route to a 12-point, first-half scoring effort. After the Mavericks found themselves down seven, Booth canned three straight over two minutes for an 11-2 run to go up 22-20 at the 9:02 mark.
A Luedtke layup later made it a one-point game just inside the five-minute mark, Wilson scored seven points down the stretch to help SDSU to a 10-2 spurt, which spurred the Jacks to a 40-31 edge at the halfway point.
Omaha got to the line just once in the half, while SDSU was 12-of-13.
Inside the Second Half
SDSU, which shot 58.1% (18-of-31) in the second stanza, led by as many as 18 after a Scheierman three made it 65-47 with under 12 minutes to play.
On the Maverick side, it was all Akinwole, as the senior lit up for 20 points in the final 20 minutes. He hit six straight triples in a six-minute stretch from 13:49 to 8:01, but Omaha never got back within single digits the rest of the way.
Noting Tonight’s Game
-Akinwole capped the season on a nine-game double-figure scoring streak.
–Matt Pile played the final game of his Maverick career, and the senior leaves with his name all over the Omaha record books. He ranks third for rebounding (916), fourth for blocks (139), ninth for field goals (512) and 19th for scoring (1,117).
-Omaha finishes the year at 5-20.