LARAMIE, Wyo. — Matt Pile reached the 1,000 career points milestone and Wanjang Tut scored a career-high 27 points Thursday night as the Omaha men’s basketball team fell 82-78 to Wyoming at the Arena-Auditorium.
Leaders for Omaha
Tut’s career night saw him lead all scorers with 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting and a 7-of-9 effort at the stripe. The junior added nine rebounds, a career-high-tying four blocks and a steal.
Pile, now the 42nd 1,000-point scorer in program history, finished with 17 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and a steal.
Leaders for Wyoming
Five Cowboys finished in double figures, paced by Drake Jeffries’ 19 points on five 3-pointers off the bench. Kwane Marble II also had 17 points off the bench, and Marcus Williams added 15. Hunter Maldonado had a double-double on 14 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, and Hunter Thompson rounded it out with 10 points.
Omaha shot 44% (32-of-72) to Wyoming’s 43% (27-of-63), which was aided by 11 Cowboy threes. Wyoming had a narrow 43-42 rebounding advantage, but Omaha outscored UW 54-30 in the paint.
For the night, the Mavericks committed only nine turnovers had a season-high seven blocks — all courtesy of Tut and Pile.
Inside the First Half
Omaha led the majority of the first half. Tut was on fire to start, hitting five of his first six shots for 10 points in the first nine minutes. He eventually finished 6-of-8 from the field for 12 first-half points.
The momentum swung Wyoming’s way with an 11-0 run to put the Cowboys in front 33-25 until a Tut jumper finally stopped it with 46 seconds to the break.
A Ruffin three as the clock ticked down sent Omaha to the locker room on a 5-0 run and trailing 33-30.
Inside the Second Half
Pile passed 1,000 points on a layup at 10:21 in the second stanza.
Omaha trailed the entire half but managed to pull within one with two minutes to the finish, when a Tut jumper trimmed it to 74-73. At the 1:03 mark, Akinwole nailed a three from up top to make it a one-point game again at 77-76. But Wyoming hit five of its next six free throw attempts to keep just out of reach.
Omaha concludes non-conference play on Tuesday, Dec. 29 with a trip to Kansas State. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan.