Omaha Drops Road Decision in CIT Second Round

Omaha Drops Road Decision in CIT Second Round Postseason Tournament 2nd Round
Murray State 86, Omaha 62

MURRAY, Ky. ( — The Omaha men's basketball team saw its 2013-14 season come to a close Monday night, falling 86-62 to Murray State at CFSB Center in the second round of the Postseason Tournament (CIT). The Mavericks finish with a record of 17-15 (5-9 Summit League), while the Racers advance to the CIT quarterfinals against Towson with a mark of 20-11.

Senior guard Justin Simmons led the way with 14 points for the night, followed by sophomore guard Devin Patterson with 12 and senior center John Karhoff with 10.

Junior forward Mike Rostampour paced UNO on the glass with 12 rebounds, eight of which were offensive boards.

As a team, the Mavericks shot 37 percent (24-of-65) from the field, 22 percent (6-of-27) from long range and 53 percent (8-of-15) at the line. Murray State finished at 49 percent (32-of-65) from the floor, 35 percent (7-of-20) beyond the arc and 83 percent (15-of-18) at the charity stripe.

MSU had five players score in double figures, led by a double-double from Jonathan Fairell with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Jeffery Moss had a game-best 17 points, while Cameron Payne added 15. Jarvis Williams also had 14 points, and T.J. Sapp chipped in 10 off the bench.

Omaha got out to a hot start with a quick 7-0 lead two minutes in, but Murray State used a 13-4 run capped by a Williams dunk to tie it at 15-15 at 13:13. The Mavericks then went up 24-20, but a Moss three cut it to a one-point game. Murray State then scored seven straight to go ahead 27-24, but Patterson buried his second three of the half to knot it at 27-all.

With a Moss three from the corner, MSU took a 33-27 advantage, but Simmons came right back with a trey of his own. His dunk with 3:28 to go kept it close at 35-32, but Murray State's 14-4 run closed out the first half to leave it at 47-34 at the break. Though UNO outrebounded MSU 20-16 in the opening half, including 18-8 to start, Omaha's eight turnovers proved costly, as the Racers scored 16 points off miscues in the first 20 minutes.

In the second half, the Racers held Omaha to 30 percent shooting and outrebounded the Mavericks 30-15, never surrendering their double-digit lead. Murray State took its largest lead with 1:40 left to go up by 26, eventually taking the win with a final score of 86-62.

The contest marked the final game for Omaha's five seniors: Simmons, Karhoff, forward Matt Hagerbaumer and guards Caleb Steffensmeier and Alex Phillips.

Karhoff finishes his career ranked among the best in school history in multiple career categories: ninth in scoring (1,348 points), sixth in field goals made (536), seventh in blocked shots (69), 15th in rebounds (524) and 18th in assists (218). Hagerbaumer goes out at sixth all-time in blocks (77), and Steffensmeier caps his career at 12th in assists (251) and 17th in 3-pointers made (84).

The 2013-14 season was highlighted by Omaha's first Division I postseason run in program history. The Mavericks were the first reclassifying team in CIT history to be offered an at-large bid en route to their first-round CIT win over North Dakota on March 19.