The Omaha men’s basketball team found itself in another position to rally late on Saturday but fell just short in its bid, dropping a 106-101 overtime decision to Fort Wayne at Baxter Arena. The Mavericks, who saw their six-game win streak come to an end, are now 12-7 (4-1 Summit League), while the Mastodons improve to 15-5 (4-1 Summit League).
Two Mavericks registered double-double performances, as senior forward Jake White achieved one with team highs of 26 points and 11 rebounds. Junior guard Tra-Deon Hollins added another — the first of his career — on season highs of 23 points and 13 assists. Hollins also tallied five rebounds and a season-best eight steals, the latter of which garnered him UNO’s single-season record at 81 steals for the season.
Senior guard Devin Patterson also put up 24 points with three 3-pointers, and sophomore forward Tre’Shawn Thurman finished with 20 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
As a team, Omaha shot 49 percent (38-of-78) from the field, 44 percent (10-of-23) from long range and 88 percent (15-of-17) at the line. Fort Wayne came in at 52 percent (39-of-75) from the floor, 55 percent (17-of-31) behind the arc and 92 percent (11-of-12) at the stripe. The Mastodons had the edge in rebounding (42-33) and blocks (8-2), while the Mavericks came out ahead in steals (11-8), assists (20-19) and turnovers forced (22-13).
Fort Wayne was led by 37 points from Max Landis, who hit an astounding nine 3-pointers for the day. John Konchar added another 27 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for the Mastodons, and Michael Calder (12), Brent Calhoun (12) and Joe Reed (11) also finished with double-figure scoring efforts.
Behind 6-of-6 long-range shooting, Landis put together a dominant 24-point first-half performance to lead Fort Wayne to a 53 percent team shooting clip. The Mastodons used a 26-8 run to take their largest lead of 19 at 33-14 with 9:49 left until the intermission. Omaha cut it to a single-digit deficit on a White layup with 3:01 to go, but back-to-back Landis threes extended the IPFW lead to 48-34 again. With a final tip-in by Konchar, Fort Wayne took a 50-37 advantage by halftime.
Omaha cranked up its defense early in the second half. A steal by Thurman led to a Patterson layup, sparking a 14-0 scoring stretch that pulled the Mavericks within two at 55-57. Fort Wayne answered with a 14-5 run of its own, going ahead by double digits again. Omaha eventually trimmed the deficit to two, 78-76, at 6:13 behind two steals and two layups by Hollins on consecutive possessions. The Mastodons then stretched their lead back to seven, but UNO answered with back-to-back Patterson threes that brought it to a one-point difference at 84-83 with 3:21 left.
The Mavericks finally tied the game for the first time at 87-87 on a pair of Thurman free throws. Omaha then took its first lead of the day, 90-89, on a Hollins 3-pointer from the corner with 1:26 left. Landis hit his ninth trey of the game to put Fort Wayne ahead 92-90 with 33 seconds left. After a missed Maverick layup and a Mastodon rebound, White got a key steal and was fouled on the play. He knocked in both free throws to tie it at 92-92, sending it to overtime.
In the overtime period, Omaha and Fort Wayne traded buckets before a White 3-pointer gave the Mavericks a 97-96 lead with 3:02 left. After IPFW regained the lead, Thurman knotted it at 101-101 with a jumper. Calder, however, answered with a three for IPFW with 27 seconds left, and a pair of Landis free throws iced it for the Mastodons, who earned the 106-101 victory.
Omaha returns to action on Thursday, Jan. 21, traveling to Denver. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. (CT) in Denver, Colo.