MACOMB, Ill. — The Omaha men’s basketball team led nearly the entire way Thursday night en route to its third straight win, 80-71 over Western Illinois at Western Hall. With the win, the Mavericks improve to 10-8 (4-1 Summit League), while the Leathernecks drop to 6-13 (1-5).
Leaders for Omaha
Zach Jackson scored in double figures for the seventh straight game and had his seventh effort of 20+ points this season. The senior from Wichita, Kan., finished with a game-high 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting with three 3-pointers alongside five rebounds and an assist.
KJ Robinson had a season-high 18 points with 5-of-7 shooting from the field and a perfect 6-of-6 showing at the free throw line. He added five more boards and an assist.
JT Gibson scored in double figures for the sixth straight game on 14 points with four boards, and Mitch Hahn had his eighth consecutive double-digit effort on 11 points and pulled down a team-best nine rebounds.
Leaders for Western Illinois
Kobe Webster led the Leathernecks with 22 points, and Brandon Gilbeck posted a double-double on 10 points and 11 rebounds. Ben Pyle and Isaac Johnson had 11 points apiece.
Omaha shot .509 (29-of-57) to WIU’s .468 (29-of-62) and canned 10 triples for the night. The Mavericks also finished .750 (12-of-16) at the stripe and outrebounded the Leathernecks 37-29.
Inside the First Half
Jackson sparked Omaha’s strong first half, scoring 18 of his 22 points in the opening 20 minutes in a 7-of-9 outburst with three 3-pointers. Gibson also hit three treys on the way to 13 points, and Omaha connected on 18-of-33 from the field (.545).
The Mavericks held a 45-33 advantage at the halfway point.
Inside the Second Half
Hahn, who was held scoreless in the first half, came alive in the second for all 11 of his points, scoring eight straight in the first four and a half minutes. Robinson lit up for 15 points on a 4-of-6 effort and made all six free throws in the closing stanza.
The Mavericks took their largest lead of 18 on Hahn’s third shot of the half, which made it 51-33. Omaha led by at least 11 until the final bucket of the night, a layup by Johnson that brought the game to its final tally of 80-71.
Noting Tonight’s Game
-Omaha has won eight of its last nine games. Its three-game win streak is its second-longest of the season, behind a four-game stretch from Dec. 15-28.
-Omaha has won its last four decisions on the road. The last time the Mavericks won four straight away from home was Jan. 7-23, 2016.
-Omaha has won five straight in the all-time series against Western Illinois, including three straight matchups in Macomb.
-The Mavericks have shot .500 or better as a team seven times.
-Omaha has outrebounded its opponent in three straight games.
-The Mavericks have committed single-digit turnovers in nine of the last 10 games.
-Gibson remains the only Maverick to hit a three in all 18 games this season.
-Jackson’s scoring performance pushed him over the 1,300 career points threshold.
Omaha returns home on Sunday, Jan. 20 to welcome South Dakota to Baxter Arena at 6 p.m.