MINNEAPOLIS — Senior Zach Jackson surpassed the 1,000 career points milestone Tuesday night as the Omaha men’s basketball team opened the 2018-19 campaign with a 104-76 loss to Minnesota at Williams Arena.
Leaders for Omaha
Jackson finished with a game-high 21 points on 6-of-11 shooting and an 8-of-10 effort at the free throw line. He added three rebounds, an assist and a career-high five steals over 30 minutes on the floor. The Wichita, Kan., native is the 39th 1,000-point scorer in school history and reached the mark in his 95th career game.
Classmate Mitch Hahn joined him in double figures with 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting with three 3-pointers, five rebounds and five steals. Redshirt freshman Wanjang Tut made his collegiate debut with 13 points, three boards and two assists, and Minnesota native JT Gibson pitched in 10 more points on 4-of-8 shooting and a pair of threes.
Leaders for Minnesota
Two-time All-Big Ten selection Jordan Murphy had a double-double out of the gate for the Gophers, finishing with 12 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and a block. Amir Coffey led Minnesota with 18 points, Dupree McBrayer had 17, and Daniel Oturu added 14 points and eight rebounds. Isaiah Washington dished out 11 assists for the night.
Minnesota shot .629 (39-of-62) to Omaha’s .444 (28-of-63) and outrebounded the Mavericks 41-21.
Inside the First Half
The Mavericks were quiet to start the game, going nearly seven minutes without a field goal. Jackson had Omaha’s first 10 points, and his three at 11:59 pushed him to his 1,000th point. That triple, followed by five more points from Tut and a jumper by KJ Robinson, put the Mavericks ahead for the first time. The surge was part of an eventual 19-6 run that was punctuated by a Gibson three to give Omaha a 22-20 lead with 8:30 left.
The Mavericks held their final advantage at 26-24 with 6:13 to the break after back-to-back buckets from Jackson. But Minnesota rallied with a late surge of its own, and Omaha managed only one more field goal in the half as the Gophers held a 50-31 lead by halftime.
Inside the Second Half
Minnesota was bolstered by .700 (21-of-30) shooting in the second half. Hahn poured in 11 of his 14 points in the final 20 minutes for the Mavericks, hitting 4-of-5 with two treys.
Just under the four-minute mark, Omaha cut it to a 15-point margin on a Gibson three, but Minnesota pulled away again to finish off the opening game.
Noting Tonight’s Game
-Omaha is now 0-1 on the season, while Minnesota improves to 1-0.
-Nov. 6 is the earliest start date in program history.
-Tonight marked Omaha’s third straight season opener on the road and its ninth matchup with a Big Ten opponent since 2011-12.
–Zach Jackson’s 21 points marked the 15th 20-point scoring performance of his career.
Omaha makes its home debut on Friday, Nov. 9, welcoming Buena Vista to Baxter Arena at Noon.