Score: No. 2 Omaha 61, No. 3 Fort Wayne 60
Records: Omaha (21-10), Purdue Fort Wayne (18-15)
Location: Denny Sanford PREMIER Center - Sioux Falls, S.D.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Much like the first two meetings of the season between Omaha and Purdue Fort Wayne, Monday's Summit League Tournament semifinal came down to the end. But, unfortunately for the No. 3 seed Mastodons, the result remained the same, as the No. 2 seed Mavericks hung on for a 61-60 win to advance to the tournament title game for the second time in three season.
After trading blows for the first four-and-a-half minutes, Omaha rattled-off a 9-0 run to turn a four-point deficit into a 16-11 lead, drawing a timeout from the Purdue Fort Wayne bench with 14:08 on the first half clock.
The Mavericks scored the first four points out of the break to stretch the run to 13-0 and the lead 20-11, but the Mastodons quelled the run, and while they didn't get a run of their own, they did cut the lead to 37-30 at halftime.
Omaha scored the first four points of the second half to push the lead back into double figures, but Purdue Fort Wayne answered with eight straight to get the lead down to 42-38 four minutes into the half.
After an Ayo Akinwold 4-point play pushed the Omaha lead back to eight points, the Mastodons used a 12-2 run to erase the lead, which came on a Dylan Carl triple from the left wing with 9:34 on the clock. That was the first of four lead changes and two ties over the next 6 minutes, 34 seconds, before Mitch Hahn scored the games final points on a corner-triple, which put the Mavericks up 61-60 with 3:13 on the clock. The teams combined to go 0 for 10 from the field over the final three minutes of the game.
Hahn scored a game-high 16 points and led a trio of Mavericks in double figures with Zach Jackson adding 12 and JT Gibson 10. Matt Pile finished with nine points, but added a game- and season-high 11 rebounds.
John Konchar and Kason Harrell led the Mastodons with 13 points each, while Matt Holba led the team- and career-high with 10 rebounds.
The Mavericks advance to the finals for a second time in school history, and square off against No. 4 seed North Dakota State on Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.
With 49 seconds left and Omaha leading 61-60, Purdue Fort Wayne missed a layup, and instead of the ball bounding into the hands of a Mastodon in position for the tip-in, the ball wedged between the rim and backboard, and the alternating arrow pointed to the Mavericks.
Inside the Box Score
- Jackson topped his previous season-high of 10 rebounds, set on Feb. 16, 2019 vs. Purdue Fort Wayne
- Holba topped his previous career-high of nine rebounds, set at South Dakota State on Feb. 21, 2019
- The Purdue Fort Wane bench outscored the Omaha bench, 14-6
News & Notes
- Omaha improves to 4-3 all-time in the tournament, with a 2-0 mark in the semifinals and a 2-0 record as a No. 2 seed
- The Mavericks lost in their lone tournament title game appearance in 2017, their second season in the league, falling 79-77 to South Dakota State
- Purdue Fort Wayne falls to 7-12 all-time in the tournament, with a 1-5 mark in the semifinals and a 1-1 record as a No. 3 seed
- Omaha won all three meetings with Purdue Fort Wayne this season by a combined 10 points
- Purdue Fort Wayne leads the all-time series 11-7
- Omaha won the only meeting between the two teams in the tournament, an 84-80 victory in the 2017 quarterfinals, the Mavericks first-ever tournament win
- The No. 2 seed holds a 19-4 advantage over the No. 3 seed in the tournament semifinals
- Tuesday's game marks the first-ever tournament meeting between Omaha and North Dakota State
- Session attendance: 4,508