SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The second-seeded Omaha men’s basketball team survived a close one in the quarterfinal round of the Summit League Championship Saturday night, hanging on for an 81-76 win over No. 7 North Dakota at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. The Mavericks advance to Monday’s semifinals with a record of 20-10, while the Fighting Hawks’ season comes to an end at 12-18.
Leaders for Omaha
Zach Jackson led Omaha with 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting alongside eight rebounds, an assist and a steal.
Wanjang Tut put together his finest performance of the season, coming off the bench for a season-high 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting with six rebounds and a block.
Leaders for North Dakota
Marlon Stewart led all scorers with 26 points on 9-of-18 shooting. Aanen Moody (14) and Billy Brown (10) also scored in double figures, while Filip Rebraca had six points and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
Omaha shot .439 (29-of-66) from the field and just .278 (5-of-18) from long range but hit at an .857 (18-of-21) clip at the free throw line. North Dakota came in at .500 (29-of-58) from the floor, including .368 (7-of-19) from deep, and .647 (11-of-17) at the stripe.
The Mavericks outrebounded UND 41-30, bolstered by a 14-5 effort on the offensive end, and outscored the Fighting Hawks 21-11 in second-chance scoring. Omaha committed six turnovers for the night.
Inside the First Half
Wanjang Tut and Zach Jackson poured in 11 points apiece to lead Omaha in the opening 20 minutes, with Tut’s all coming within a four-minute stretch late in the half. A Hahn three pushed the Maverick advantage to 42-32 with 3:30 to go, but back-to-back UND triples helped cut it to two. Omaha held a 48-46 edge at the break.
Inside the Second Half
Omaha started the second stanza with a 7-0 run, and six points early from Pile cushioned the Maverick lead at 59-50 with 15:48 to go.
The Fighting Hawks managed to make it a three-point game late at 76-73 on a three-point play from Marlon Stewart. Another Stewart bucket with 1:16 left brought UND within one at 77-76, but Tut laid one in with 16 seconds remaining to push the lead back out to three again. After a UND miss on the other end, two Hahn free throws with 3.8 seconds left iced the game.
Noting Tonight’s Game
-Omaha has lost just three times since Dec. 8, winning 17 of its last 20 games and eight of its last nine.
-The Mavericks have outrebounded 12 of their last 15 opponents.
-Omaha has grabbed double-digit offensive rebounds nine times this season.
-The Mavericks have had single-digit turnovers in 18 of the last 22 games, including nine straight since Feb. 3.
-Omaha has won 10 straight meetings with North Dakota dating back to 2007 and has a 6-0 advantage in the Division I era.
-Omaha is 3-3 all-time in Summit League Tournament games.
–Zach Jackson and Matt Pile have both scored in double figures in nine straight games.
-Omaha is the tournament’s highest remaining seed after regular-season champion South Dakota State was upset by No. 8 Western Illinois earlier Saturday night.
Omaha moves on to Monday’s Summit League Championship semifinal round, taking on the winner of the Purdue Fort Wayne/South Dakota quarterfinal matchup. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m.