The Omaha men’s basketball team snapped its four-game losing skid on Thursday night, defeating IUPUI 88-66 at Ralston Arena. With the win, the Mavericks improve to 16-13 (5-8 Summit League), while the Jaguars fall to 6-24 (1-12 Summit League).
Junior forward Mike Rostampour led the Mavs with 18 points and nine rebounds, shooting 7-of-9 from the field. Sophomore guard Marcus Tyus had 17 points with a trio of 3-pointers, while senior guard Justin Simmons added 15 points for the night. Senior center John Karhoff rounded it out with 13 points, four rebounds and four assists, and he now ranks 20th on the UNO career assists chart with 213 over the last four years.
IUPUI was led by Ian Chiles, who finished with a game-high 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting with two threes.
As a team, Omaha shot 52 percent (35-of-67) from the field, 44 percent (7-of-16) from long range and 79 percent (11-of-14) at the free throw line. The Jaguars came in at 46 percent (26-of-56) from the floor, 46 percent (5-of-11) beyond the arc and 60 percent (9-of-15) at the line.
IUPUI won the rebounding battle, 33-32. For the night, Omaha forced 21 Jaguar turnovers, scoring 34 points of those miscues, while committing just nine of its own.
Omaha started the game strong, taking its first double-digit lead of the game at 20-9 with the help of a pair of threes from senior guard Alex Phillips. Forcing six Jaguar turnovers in the first 10 minutes of play, the Mavericks surged out to a 25-11 advantage, then made it 35-23 with 2:45 until halftime. IUPUI rallied with an 11-0 run to close out the half, cutting Omaha’s lead to 35-34 at the break.
Both teams traded baskets to start the second half and at the first timeout, the Mavericks still led by just one, 41-40. UNO then went on a 16-0 run, sparked by threes from senior guard Caleb Steffensmeier and Tyus. Omaha stretched the lead to as much as 27 with just over three minutes left in the game.
Omaha returns to action on Saturday, March 1 at 1 p.m. when it hosts Fort Wayne at Ralston Arena. It marks the final home game for Omaha’s seniors -- Matt Hagerbaumer, John Karhoff, Alex Phillips, Justin Simmons and Caleb Steffensmeier, who will be honored prior to the game with special festivities.