The Omaha men’s basketball team maintained its share of first place in the conference standings Thursday night with a 69-55 victory over Denver at Magness Arena. With the win, the Mavericks improve to 13-7 (5-1 Summit League), while the Pioneers drop to 10-10 (2-5 Summit League).
Senior forward Jake White put together a dominant performance, posting a career-high 29 points with a game-high nine rebounds on 10-of-13 shooting from the floor and a flawless 9-of-9 showing at the free throw line. Sophomore forward Tre’Shawn Thurman joined him in double figures with 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting alongside six rebounds.
Junior guard Tra-Deon Hollins also came through for the Mavericks, finishing with nine points, eight assists, five rebounds and four steals.
As a team, Omaha shot at a 49 percent (24-of-49) clip from the floor, 10 percent (1-of-10) from 3-point range and 91 percent (20-of-22) at the stripe. Denver finished at 35 percent (17-of-49) from the field, 20 percent (5-of-25) from long range and 94 percent (16-of-17) at the line. UNO held the advantage on the glass, outrebounding DU 34-26, and in assists (13-7), steals (7-5) and turnovers forced (13-12).
Denver was led by 17 points from C.J. Bobbitt and another 12 from Joe Rosga. The Pioneers’ leading rebounder was Duke Douglass, who grabbed six boards.
Omaha and Denver got off to a slow start, locked at a 10-10 tie with 11:58 left in the first half. The Mavericks then strung together a 7-0 run over the next three minutes, going ahead 17-10. UNO took its largest lead of the half on a layup by sophomore forward Daniel Meyer, which made it 28-18 with a minute until the break. Having outscored the Pioneers 20-4 in the paint, the Mavericks took a 28-21 advantage by halftime.
In the second half, the Pioneers managed to pull within four on a 3-pointer by Bryant Rucker with 10:33 left. After a Bobbitt trey made it 45-40, a three by senior guard Kyler Erickson broke the Mavericks’ drought from long range and put Omaha up by eight. With under five minutes to go, six straight free between Hollins and White gave UNO a double-digit lead at 54-42, and the Mavericks maintained a double-digit lead from there. A Thurman dunk and two Hollins foul shots eventually extended their lead to 15, and Omaha went on to seize the victory, 69-55.
Omaha returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 23, traveling to Oral Roberts. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Mabee Center in Tulsa, Okla