The second-seeded Omaha Mavericks advanced to The Summit League Tournament Final with a 61-60 win over the three-seeded Purdue Fort Wayne Monday night at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.
The Mavericks advance to the title game with a 21-10 record, while the Mastodons conclude their season with an 18-15 mark.
LEADERS FOR OMAHA
Mitch Hahn had a game-high 16 points on 6-for-14 shooting and grabbed seven boards. Zach Jackson had 12 points and six rebounds, while JT Gibson rounded out the Mavericks' double-digit scoring efforts with 10 points and four steals. Matt Pile narrowly missed out on a double-double with nine points and 11 rebounds.
LEADERS FOR PURDUE FOR WAYNE
The duo of Kason Harrell and John Konchar notched 13 points apiece for the Mastodons. Konchar also tallied seven rebounds, four assists and three steals. Matt Holba recorded a game-high 10 rebounds.
Omaha was 42.6 percent from the floor on 23-of-54 shooting. The Mavericks were also 9-for-22 from beyond the arc (.409) and 6-for-10 from the charity stripe. Purdue Fort Wayne went 24-of-58 from the field (.414), 8-of-27 from three (.296) and 4-of-6 (66.7) from the free throw line.
The Mastodons outrebounded Omaha 35-32, and won the battle inside the paint, 33-22. Purdue Fort Wayne also had nine blocks compared to the Mavericks' one, and committed one less turnover than Omaha (17-16). Omaha, however, led the game for 32:12.
INSIDE THE FIRST HALF
A hot shooting performance lifted Omaha to a 37-30 lead on 53.6 percent shooting. Omaha led by double-digits on four different occasions in the first half, but the Mastodons were able to cut it to six at the 3:40 mark. The Mavericks held on and maintained the lead after a KJ Robinson bucket and a Pile free throw.
INSIDE THE SECOND HALF
The Mavericks opened with a 12-point lead at the 17:46 mark in the second half on a Gibson three. The Mastodons sparked an 8-0 run and eventually cut it to single digits at the 10:49 mark. That was followed up with a three that put Omaha in its first deficit of the second half, 51-50.
Five lead changes would happen in the remainder of the game, before Omaha took a 1-point lead on a Hahn corner three. The Mastodons had the final look in the game, but Konchar's long three-ball went wide and Omaha secured its first championship final since 2017.
For the first time since 2017, Omaha moves to its second Summit League Championship Final with a matchup against the fourth-seeded North Dakota State, who defeated Western Illinois in the semifinal round. Tipoff is set for tomorrow, March 12, at 8 p.m. (CST) in Sioux Falls, S.D., at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.
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