FARGO, N.D. – The Omaha men’s basketball team officially opened the Summit League era on Thursday evening, falling 95-51 to North Dakota State at Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse. The Mavericks are now 2-6 (0-1 Summit League) on the season, while the Bison improve to 6-2 (1-0 Summit League).
Junior guard Justin Simmons put up a team-leading 14 points with a pair of threes, along with three rebounds, two steals and an assist.
Junior forward Matt Hagerbaumer had a solid night off the bench with a career-high nine points on 4-for-5 shooting, as well as three rebounds and two blocks. Junior guard Alex Phillips added eight points and a team-best four boards, while senior guard Tyler Egli and freshman guard Marcus Tyus finished with an ideal six points on two 3-pointers each.
NDSU’s Taylor Braun had a record performance, hitting 7-for-9 from 3-point range to finish with 26 points and tie the NDSU school mark for threes in a single game. Braun added nine rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block for the night.
Four other Bison scorers finished in double figures: Marshall Bjorklund (14), TrayVonn Wright (14), Lawrence Alexander (13) and Chris Kading (10).
A 15-for-25 effort from long range was the name of the game for NDSU, who finished 36-for-62 from the floor. UNO was 4-for-11 from beyond the arc and 21-for 53 overall. The Bison also battled on the glass, outrebounding the Mavs 39-19.
Omaha hung with NDSU early in the game, leading 9-8 with the help of two buckets from Simmons. The Bison then went on an 8-0 run to make it 16-9, and NDSU’s strong shooting from beyond the arc took over. Braun went 4-for-4 from long range in the first half, posting 16 points, and a trio of threes between him and Alexander pushed it to 30-16. UNO managed to bring it back within 10 as Hagerbaumer put up five straight points and another five from Simmons, but the Bison punctuated the half with nine unanswered points to lead 49-30 by halftime.
In the second half, eight more threes – including three from Braun – spurred North Dakota State to outscore UNO, 46-21. The Bison outshot the Mavs 62 percent to 30 percent from the field, going on to spoil Omaha’s Summit League debut, 95-51.
Omaha returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 1, traveling to defending conference champion South Dakota State. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. at Frost Arena in Brookings, S.D., and the game will be broadcast live on 1620 AM. Links to live stats, live audio and live video will be available on OMavs.com.
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