Press Conference: (2) Omaha | (7) North Dakota
Score: No. 2 Omaha 81, No. 7 North Dakota 76
Records: Omaha (20-10), North Dakota (12-18)
Location: Denny Sanford PREMIER Center - Sioux Falls, S.D.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – North Dakota played its first-ever Summit League Tournament game on Saturday against relative newcomer Omaha, which played its first tournament game in 2016, and even though the No. 7 seed Fighting Hawks lost the game, 81-76 to the No. 2 seed Mavericks, they held true to their name, and didn't go down without a fight.
After a couple of early lead changes, the Mavericks broke an 11-all tie with a 9-0 run to take a 20-11 lead just over seven minutes into the game. The Fighting Hawks responded with a 6-0 run, but Mavs held on, and built the lead up to as many as 10 points at 42-32, only to see UND rally to cut the deficit to two, at 48-46 at halftime.
After seeing their double-digit lead slip to just two points, the Mavericks came out swinging in the second half, scoring the first seven points, including a Mitch Hahn triple sandwiched by a pair of buckets from Matt Pile, to boost the lead back to nine points at 55-46 with 17:56 remaining.
The Fighting Hawks continued to battle though, cutting the lead down to four points twice, down to three twice and then down to one at 77-76 on a Marlon Stewart layup with 1:16 left in the game, his ninth straight point for UND.
Each team traded misses, until Wangjang Tut hit a layup with 16 seconds on the clock to push the lead back to 79-76.
After an Omaha timeout, Hahn gathered a UND miss, and then sealed the win with a pair of foul shots with 3.8 seconds left.
Zach Jackson led four Mavericks in double figures with 21 points, with Tut adding a career-high 18 points off the bench, while Hahn finished with 14 and Pile 12 in the win.
Stewart scored a game-high 26 points in the loss, and got help with 14 points from Aanen Moody and 10 from Billy Brown. Filip Rebraca finished with six points and a game-high 10 rebounds for the Fighting Hawks.
Omaha awaits the winner of No. 3 Purdue Fort Wayne vs. No. 6 South Dakota game in the semifinals on Monday at 8:30 p.m.
- The first three minutes of the second half. North Dakota went into the locker room with the momentum after cutting a 10-point Omaha lead down to two at halftime, but the Mavericks scored the first seven points of the second half to push the lead back to nine points at 55-46 in the first 3 minutes, 4 seconds of the second half, giving them the cushion they needed to withstand the late UND push.
Inside the Box Score
- Omaha outrebounded UND, 41-30, including a 14-5 edge on the offensive glass, which allowed the Mavericks to outscore the Fighting Hawks 21-11 in second-chance points
- The teams combined for just 13 turnovers in the game; six from Omaha and seven from UND
- North Dakota shot 50 percent for the game, compared to 44 percent for Omaha
- UND made seven 3-pointers, two more than Omaha
- The Mavericks went 18 for 21 at the free throw line, compared to 11 for 17 for the Fighting Hawks
- Both teams scored 25 bench points
- Despite three ties and three lead changes, Omaha led for 35 minutes, 40 seconds of the game
News & Notes
- Saturday's game marked the first-ever Summit League Tournament game for North Dakota
- Omaha evens its all-time tournament record at 3-3, and its quarterfinals record at 2-2
- Omaha won 17 of its last 20 games, and eight of its last nine and the victory provided the program with its first 20-win season at the Division I level
- Mavericks committed fewer than 10 turnovers in 18 games this season, including each of their last nine games
- Omaha's extends their Division I-best wins total to 20
- The win gives Mavericks head coach Derrin Hansen his first 20-win season at the Division I level, and the second of his 14-year stint in Omaha
- Exactly three Fighting Hawks scored in double figures for the 12th time this season, and at least three scored in double figures for the 22nd time
- Omaha won each of the last 10 meetings with North Dakota
- Session attendance; 8,071