OMAHA, Neb. — The Omaha men’s basketball team saw a 14-point lead slip away Sunday afternoon, falling 81-80 to South Dakota at Baxter Arena. The Mavericks are now 12-11 (5-3 Summit League) on the season, while the Coyotes improve to 16-8 (7-3).
The loss snapped Omaha’s 16-game home win streak and was its first loss at Baxter since Dec. 30, 2018.
Leaders for Omaha
KJ Robinson led the way with 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting with four 3-pointers, adding five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Matt Pile just missed a double-double with 19 points and nine boards, finishing 8-of-12 from the field.
Leaders for South Dakota
Tyler Hagedorn led all scorers with 27 points alongside seven rebounds. He shot 8-of-13 from the floor and 9-of-9 at the line.
Tyler Peterson (17), Triston Simpson (13) and Cody Kelley (10) also scored in double figures.
Omaha shot 48.3% (28-of-58) to South Dakota’s 44.1% (26-of-59) and outrebounded the Coyotes 35-30. USD finished at 96.0% at the line, hitting 24-of-25.
Inside the First Half
While USD started 0-of-8 from the floor, the Mavericks came out firing to lead 12-0 less than five minutes in. Robinson had 16 points with all four of his triples in the opening 20, and Omaha led the entire half – up as many as 14 — before USD cut it to 47-45 at the midway point.
Inside the Second Half
There were eight ties and nine lead changes on the day, all of which came in the second half.
With eight minutes to go, a jumper from Robinson, followed by a steal and another score from the senior on the next play, made it 69-65 in favor of the Mavericks.
Up 74-70 after three Marlon Ruffin free throws, Omaha saw USD go ahead once more with a 9-0 run – aided by five straight points from Hagedorn — to make it 79-74. But Omaha rallied to regain the lead again at 80-79 when Akinwole went to the line twice and went 4-for-4.
A foul by Stanley Umude sent the Mavericks to the line again with eight seconds remaining, but a miss on the front end of a one-and-one re-opened it for USD. Simpson then drew a foul from Ruffin and hit both foul shots to give the Coyotes the 81-80 win. A final attempt from deep by Robinson fell short.
Noting Today’s Game
-South Dakota swept the season series from Omaha and now leads 9-8 in the Mavericks’ Division I era.
-The Mavericks were one of 29 teams nationally to enter the weekend undefeated at home.
-Omaha has won 19 of its last 21 games on its home floor.
Omaha caps its four-game home stand on Wednesday, Feb. 5, hosting North Dakota State. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Baxter Arena