MACOMB, Ill. – The Omaha men’s basketball team kicked off its final roadtrip of the season on Thursday night, falling 68-50 to Western Illinois at Western Hall. The Mavericks are now 8-18 (5-8 Summit League), while the Leathernecks improve to 18-5 (10-2 Summit League).
Junior guard Justin Simmons and senior guard Tyler Egli led the way for Omaha with 10 points apiece. Egli’s effort was a season best, as he finished 3-of-4 from the floor with a pair of threes, two rebounds, an assist and a steal. For his part, Simmons shot 5-of-12 with six rebounds and an assist.
Junior center John Karhoff added six points, six boards, three assists, two steals and a block for the night. Junior forward Matt Hagerbaumer pulled down a team-leading seven rebounds and added two points, two assists and two blocked shots.
Redshirt freshman Simon Krych chipped in four points and three rebounds off the bench, while junior guard Alex Phillips had four points and two boards of his own.
Western Illinois was paced by Terell Parks’ 10th double-double of the year with 16 rebounds and 12 points, along with three helpers, two blocks and a steal. Adam Link added 12 points, and Don McAvoy had 11 off the bench.
As a team, Omaha finished with its second-lowest field goal shooting percentage of the season at .333, while Western Illinois shot at a .491 clip.
The momentum was all Western’s to start the game, as the Leathernecks opened to a 20-0 advantage and shot 59 percent in the first half. UNO missed its first 14 shots before a Karhoff bucket put the Mavericks on the board. WIU took its largest lead of the half at 35-12, and Omaha closed the first 20 minutes with sophomore guard CJ Carter’s half-courter at the buzzer to make it 35-15 at the break.
In the second stanza, the Leathernecks worked out to their largest lead of the game, 58-25, with 10:44 left to play. UNO then put together a 13-2 run, aided by a trio of threes between Egli and senior guard Jacques Coleman. The Mavericks improved their shooting from .219 in the first half to .452 in the second, but WIU’s Parks cemented his double-double with six points and eight boards in the second stanza and led Western to the 68-50 win, its 10th league victory.
Omaha returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 9, traveling to IUPUI. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. (CT) at The Jungle in Indianapolis, Ind., and links to live stats, audio and video will be available on OMavs.com.