BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Trailing by as many as 19 points in the fourth quarter, the Omaha women’s basketball team fought back to cut the lead to five with less than 90 seconds remaining, but ultimately fell 52-43 to CSU Bakersfield at the Icardo Center on Monday night.
With the loss, the Mavericks are 7-4 on the season (0-0 Summit League), while the Roadrunners improved to 5-6 (0-0 WAC).
Sophomore Jay Bridgeman chipped in five points and eight rebounds, while junior Kalen Phillips tied a career-best with six rebounds. Freshman Emily Petersen scored three points and tied Walter with team-best three assists.
Leaders for CSU Bakersfield
Aja Williams led all scorers with 16 points and 5-of-10 shooting from the floor. Williams added six rebounds, three steals and three assists. Alexxus Gilbert scored 11 points while dishing out a game-high four assists. Jazmyne Bartee had four points, six boards and three blocked shots.
Omaha shot .277 (13-of-47) from the field and .174 (4-of-23) beyond the arc while holding CSU Bakersfield to .257 (18-of-70) from the floor and .259 (7-of-27) from long range. UNO held a slight rebounding advantage 45-43 but lost the battle on the offensive glass to CSUB, 22-15.
Inside the First Quarter
CSU Bakersfield turned six Omaha turnovers into eight points and held a 15-7 rebounding advantage. The Roadrunners shot .333 (7-of-21) with three 3-pointers while holding the Mavericks to just .200 (2-of-10) from the floor. CSUB closed the quarter on a 13-2 run, taking a 19-4 lead after the first 10 minutes of play.
Sizing Up the Second Quarter
Both teams struggled in the second quarter as the Roadrunners shot .176 (3-of-17) from the floor and the Mavericks managed only .154 (2-of-13). Bakersfield out rebounded Omaha 16-10 in the period. UNO cut the lead to 12 with 7:04 left in the quarter on an Amber Vidal Jumper and a trey by Jess Walter. Neither team scored in the final 2:19 of the half and CSU Bakersfield went to the locker room with a 26-10 lead.
Looking at the Third Quarter
Omaha improved its shooting to .364 (4-of-11) from the floor in the third quarter while CSUB was .286 (4-of-14). The Mavericks held a 14-3 advantage on the boards. UNO opened the second half on a 7-3 run to cut the CSU Bakersfield lead to 12 points with 4:02 left in the period. The Roadrunners pushed the lead back to 17 with less than three minutes left. Omaha closed out the period with a 6-2 spurt and trailed 39-25 after three quarters.
Wrapping the Fourth Quarter
Omaha shot .385 (5-of-13) from the field and .286 (2-of-7) from long range while CSU Bakersfield connected on .222 (4-of-18) of its shots from the floor and went 0-of-7 from deep. The Mavericks also out rebounded the Roadrunners 14-9 in the period. CSUB opened the final period with a 5-0 run and took its largest lead of the game 44-25. Jay Bridgeman‘s jumper sparked an 8-0 run over the next 1:33 and Walter’s free throw made it 44-33 midway through the quarter. A layup by Alexxus Gilbert stopped the Omaha run momentarily, but a 3-pointer by Walter ignited another 8-0 Maverick run that cut the lead to 46-41 with 1:18 left on the clock. Gilbert and Aja Williams then scored four quick points to push the lead back to nine points. Walter hit two more free throws with 18 seconds on the clock, but Omaha’s comeback effort came up short as CSU Bakersfield came away with a 52-43 win.
UNO returns to action on Wednesday, Dec. 20 at CSUN. Tipoff from the Matadome in Northridge, Calif., is set for 4 p.m. CT.