Mavs move on to semis after holding off Fighting Hawks

Omaha guard Zach Jackson scores a team-high 21 points against No. 7 North Dakota to avoid an upset and advance to the semifinals.
Omaha guard Zach Jackson scores a team-high 21 points against No. 7 North Dakota to avoid an upset and advance to the semifinals.

Press Conference: (2) Omaha(7) North Dakota

The Basics

Score: No. 2 Omaha 81, No. 7 North Dakota 76
Records: Omaha (20-10), North Dakota (12-18)
Location: Denny Sanford PREMIER Center - Sioux Falls, S.D.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – North Dakota played its first-ever Summit League Tournament game on Saturday against relative newcomer Omaha, which played its first tournament game in 2016, and even though the No. 7 seed Fighting Hawks lost the game, 81-76 to the No. 2 seed Mavericks, they held true to their name, and didn't go down without a fight.

After a couple of early lead changes, the Mavericks broke an 11-all tie with a 9-0 run to take a 20-11 lead just over seven minutes into the game. The Fighting Hawks responded with a 6-0 run, but Mavs held on, and built the lead up to as many as 10 points at 42-32, only to see UND rally to cut the deficit to two, at 48-46 at halftime.

After seeing their double-digit lead slip to just two points, the Mavericks came out swinging in the second half, scoring the first seven points, including a Mitch Hahn triple sandwiched by a pair of buckets from Matt Pile, to boost the lead back to nine points at 55-46 with 17:56 remaining.

The Fighting Hawks continued to battle though, cutting the lead down to four points twice, down to three twice and then down to one at 77-76 on a Marlon Stewart layup with 1:16 left in the game, his ninth straight point for UND.

Each team traded misses, until Wangjang Tut hit a layup with 16 seconds on the clock to push the lead back to 79-76.

After an Omaha timeout, Hahn gathered a UND miss, and then sealed the win with a pair of foul shots with 3.8 seconds left.

Zach Jackson led four Mavericks in double figures with 21 points, with Tut adding a career-high 18 points off the bench, while Hahn finished with 14 and Pile 12 in the win.

Stewart scored a game-high 26 points in the loss, and got help with 14 points from Aanen Moody and 10 from Billy Brown. Filip Rebraca finished with six points and a game-high 10 rebounds for the Fighting Hawks.

Omaha awaits the winner of No. 3 Purdue Fort Wayne vs. No. 6 South Dakota game in the semifinals on Monday at 8:30 p.m.

Turning Point

  • The first three minutes of the second half. North Dakota went into the locker room with the momentum after cutting a 10-point Omaha lead down to two at halftime, but the Mavericks scored the first seven points of the second half to push the lead back to nine points at 55-46 in the first 3 minutes, 4 seconds of the second half, giving them the cushion they needed to withstand the late UND push.

Inside the Box Score

  • Omaha outrebounded UND, 41-30, including a 14-5 edge on the offensive glass, which allowed the Mavericks to outscore the Fighting Hawks 21-11 in second-chance points
  • The teams combined for just 13 turnovers in the game; six from Omaha and seven from UND
  • North Dakota shot 50 percent for the game, compared to 44 percent for Omaha
  • UND made seven 3-pointers, two more than Omaha
  • The Mavericks went 18 for 21 at the free throw line, compared to 11 for 17 for the Fighting Hawks
  • Both teams scored 25 bench points
  • Despite three ties and three lead changes, Omaha led for 35 minutes, 40 seconds of the game

News & Notes

  • Saturday's game marked the first-ever Summit League Tournament game for North Dakota
  • Omaha evens its all-time tournament record at 3-3, and its quarterfinals record at 2-2
  • Omaha won 17 of its last 20 games, and eight of its last nine and the victory provided the program with its first 20-win season at the Division I level
  • Mavericks committed fewer than 10 turnovers in 18 games this season, including each of their last nine games
  • Omaha's extends their Division I-best wins total to 20
  • The win gives Mavericks head coach Derrin Hansen his first 20-win season at the Division I level, and the second of his 14-year stint in Omaha
  • Exactly three Fighting Hawks scored in double figures for the 12th time this season, and at least three scored in double figures for the 22nd time
  • Omaha won each of the last 10 meetings with North Dakota
  • Session attendance; 8,071

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2018-19 Basketball Media Day
October 19, 2018 2018-19 Basketball Media Day