Denver (8-10) at Nebraska-Omaha (11-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 23, 8:07 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ralston Arena (3,500) -- Omaha, Nebraska. Television: None. Home Record: Denver 5-3, Nebraska-Omaha 6-0. Away Record: Denver 2-5, Nebraska-Omaha 5-7. Neutral Record: Denver 1-2, Nebraska-Omaha 0-0. Conference Record: Denver 1-2, Nebraska-Omaha 1-2. Series Record: Denver leads, 3-0.
GAME NOTES: A pair of teams sporting identical 1-2 records in Summit League action square off tonight, as the Denver Pioneers pay a visits to the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks.
Denver is coming off a 66-45 thumping of IUPUI last Saturday. Senior Chris Udofia scored a team-high 16 points, dished out six assists and blocked three shots to lead the Pioneers, who stopped a three-game losing streak.
Brett Olson added 15 points and Cam Griffin scored 10 points for Denver, which picked up its first Summit League win in three tries this season.
The Pioneers missed their first seven shots of the game against IUPUI, but quickly recovered to gain control. Denver went on a 21-0 run and went into halftime with a 30-18 cushion it would never relinquish. The Pioneers shot 48 percent from the field for the game, hitting 9-of-19 3-point tries.
The strong shooting performance was out of the norm for the Pioneers. The squad shoots just 43.8 percent from the field for the season and 36 percent from beyond the arc.
Olson leads Denver in scoring, averaging 14.5 ppg. He has stepped up his performance in Summit League play, averaging 16 ppg. Udofia has been the other constant for the Pioneers, netting 12.1 ppg and grabbing a team-high 6.1 rpg.
Omaha is also coming off an uncharacteristically strong effort in an 80-71 win over South Dakota last Saturday. Marcus Tyus scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Mavericks, who handed the Jackrabbits their first home conference loss in nearly three years. The last time SDSU lost at home in Summit League play was Jan. 29, 2011.
Junior guard CJ Carter added 15 points for Omaha, which shot a season-best 55.6 percent from the field. Senior guard Justin Simmons chipped in 12 points and senior center John Karhoff rounded it out with 11 points for the Mavericks, who played consistently throughout the night to end a three-game slide and pick up their first conference win in three tries.
The Mavericks went into halftime with a 36-29 lead. Then, after SDSU pulled within four at 48-44 with 13:03 to go, Omaha scored the next seven points to extend to a 55-44 advantage. The lead eventually grew to 13 points, 72-59 with less than four minutes to play and the Mavericks cruised to the finish.
The win also ended a five-game road trip for the Mavericks, who will be playing at home for the first time since Dec. 22.
Leading the Mavericks in scoring this season is Carter with 14.3 ppg. Karhoff adds 13.7 ppg, while Devin Patterson contributes 11.7 ppg. As a team, Omaha puts up an average of 82.3 ppg on 45.7 percent shooting.
While Denver has never lost in three tries against Omaha, the Pioneers have not been good on the road this season, going just 2-5. The Mavericks, meanwhile, are an impressive 6-0 at home and they have a more balanced offensive attack.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Nebraska-Omaha 75, Denver 68
01/23 10:22:26 ET