OMAHA, Neb. — KJ Robinson’s late-game heroics propelled the Omaha men’s basketball team to an 84-83 overtime win in its home finale Wednesday night at Baxter Arena.
With their fourth straight win, the Mavericks improve to 16-14 (9-6 Summit League) and move into a tie for third in the league standings, while UND drops to 13-16 (7-8).
Robinson hit the game-tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation, then the game-winning shot in the paint to win it in overtime.
Leaders for Omaha
Wanjang Tut had a career scoring performance with 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting, adding six rebounds and a career-high four blocks. Marlon Ruffin followed with 18 points, four boards, three assists and a steal.
The senior duo of Robinson and JT Gibson played their final game at Baxter Arena, with Gibson finishing with 15 points and Robinson adding 12 more.
Leaders for North Dakota
Filip Rebraca led the way for UND with a double-double on game highs of 24 points and 13 rebounds, and Marlon Stewart added 21 points with seven caroms and eight assists. Kienan Walter (16) and De’Sean Allen-Eikens (13) also finished in double figures.
Omaha shot 53.7% (36-of-67) to North Dakota’s 44.3% (31-of-70). The Mavericks had their second straight game with single-digit turnovers, limiting themselves to eight for the night.
Inside the First Half
The first half saw seven ties and eight lead changes as neither team could build more than a four-point advantage for the first 19 minutes. After Ruffin put the Mavericks up five with 45 seconds left, a Rebraca putback cut it to three. But Gibson stepped up and canned a three at the buzzer to spot the Mavericks a 37-31 lead at the break.
Tut led the way with 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the opening act.
Inside the Second Half
Pile, who ran into foul trouble mere minutes into the game, came out strong in the second half with six points early, helping Omaha to its largest advantage, 51-43, with 14:47 left. The Mavericks held the lead until 2:30, when Allen-Eikens tied it at 68-68. Walter then hit a three to put the Fighting Hawks up 71-68 and cap a 6-0 run.
After Ruffin cut it to 71-70 with 1:24 to go, a Stewart bucket on the other end extended the UND lead to 73-70. But Robinson came up clutch with seven seconds left, draining a 26-foot triple to force the game into overtime.
Overtime included seven lead changes, including three in the final 28 seconds. With UND up 81-79, Ayo Akinwole went to the other end and nailed a three to put Omaha ahead 82-81. Stewart followed with a layup that made it 83-82.
But Robinson hit a driving layup of his own with 13 seconds remaining to push it back in the Mavericks’ favor, sealing the win at 84-83. A final UND 3-point attempt missed in the final seconds.
Noting Tonight’s Game
-Omaha has won 12 straight meetings against North Dakota dating back to 2007 and has an 8-0 advantage in the Mavericks’ Division I era.
-The Mavericks are 4-0 against UND in Omaha.
-Omaha has shot 50.0% or better as a team 10 times this year.
Omaha finishes the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 29, facing North Dakota State at 4 p.m. at the Scheels Center in Fargo, N.D.