OMAHA, Neb. — A 55-percent shooting performance carried the Omaha men’s basketball team Wednesday night, as the Mavericks earned an 85-74 win over UC Santa Barbara at Baxter Arena. With their second straight win, the Mavericks improve to 5-7 on the season, while the Gauchos drop to 8-3.
Leaders for Omaha
Zach Jackson finished with a team-leading 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Matt Pile registered his third double-double in four games on 13 points and a career-high-tying 11 rebounds with a career-best five assists, two blocks and a steal.
Leaders for UC Santa Barbara
Armond Davis scored a game-high 26 points with five 3-pointers and a 7-of-8 showing at the stripe. Devearl Ramsey joined him in double figures with 10 points.
Omaha outshot UCSB .550 (33-of-60) to .410 (25-of-61) and drained 10 triples. The Gauchos had the edge on the boards, 36-26.
The Mavericks also committed a season-low-tying seven turnovers, marking their fourth straight game limiting their turnovers to single digits. Omaha scored 17 points off eight Gaucho turnovers for the night.
Inside the First Half
A season-best shooting effort in the first half saw Omaha hit at a .607 clip as a team. Jackson’s 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting powered the effort, and Matt Pile added nine points, eight rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal in the first 20 minutes.
An early 7-0 run put Omaha ahead by the first media timeout, with Pile credited for four points and seven boards in the first five minutes of play. A 5-0 run gave Omaha a 12-point advantage with 7:47 left, after which UCSB responded with a 6-0 spurt out of the timeout. The Mavericks closed the half with a pair of key threes in the last 10 seconds — one from Gibson and another at the buzzer from Ayo Akinwole — to lead 48-35 at the break.
Inside the Second Half
Pile opened the second half with a dunk, followed by buckets from Jackson and Zach Thornhill to extend Omaha’s run to 12-0.
UCSB pulled within 12 with 13 minutes to play, but Omaha held its double-digit lead the rest of the way. The Mavericks took their largest lead with 8:48 remaining, when a short 5-0 run on a Gibson tip-in and a three-point play from Hahn made it 72-52.
Noting Tonight’s Game
-Tonight marked Omaha’s third shooting performance of 50 percent or better.
–Zach Jackson’s 22 points were his sixth effort with 20+ points this season.
–JT Gibson is the only Maverick to hit a 3-pointer in all 12 games.
-The all-time series between Omaha and UC Santa Barbara is now tied at 2-2.
Omaha caps non-conference play with a trip to Rice this Friday, Dec. 21, with tipoff set for 7 p.m. in Houston, Texas.