OMAHA, Neb. – Fort Wayne’s John Konchar made the game-winning shot with less than a second to go Wednesday night, sinking the Omaha men's basketball team 80-78 at Baxter Arena. The Mavericks are now 7-9 (0-3 Summit League) on the season, while the Mastodons improve to 12-4 (2-1).
Senior guard Marcus Tyus’s performance highlighted a strong Omaha effort, as he eclipsed the 1,000 career points milestone to become the 37th 1,000-point scorer in program history. The Ramsey, Minn., native finished with 25 points on 8-of-10 shooting, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range and 5-of-5 at the free throw line, along with four steals. He now owns 1,010 points over his Maverick career.
Junior forward Tre'Shawn Thurman added his fifth double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds with two blocks, and senior guard Tra-Deon Hollins had 14 points, five assists, three steals and a pair of boards.
Konchar, credited with the game-winning basket for the Mastodons, tallied a double-double with game highs of 33 points and 11 rebounds while shooting 13-of-15 from the field and 4-of-4 from distance. Mo Evans added another 11 points, and Brent Calhoun had 10 points, eight caroms and a game-high six blocks.
The Mavericks shot .464 (26-of-56) from the floor, .471 (8-of-17) from 3-point range and .818 (18-of-22) at the free throw line. Fort Wayne finished at .462 (30-of-65) from the field, .333 (10-of-30) beyond the arc and .769 (10-of-13) at the stripe, and the Mastodons had the edge in rebounding, 38-29.
Fort Wayne overcame an Omaha team that led for over 32 minutes in the game. The Mavericks took their largest lead of the night with 6:09 until the break, as consecutive threes from Tyus and sophomore forward Mitch Hahn made it 32-21. Omaha held a 40-34 advantage at halftime after shooting .500 (13-of-26) for the half, sparked by eight points apiece from Tyus, Thurman and junior forward Daniel Meyer.
In the second stanza, Fort Wayne looked to Konchar, who shot a perfect 7-for-7 en route to 19 points, which contributed to the Mastodons’ .593 (16-of-27) shooting for the half. Tyus, meanwhile, poured in 17 points of his own with a 6-of-8 effort, with a reverse layup at 16:21 cementing his 1,000th career point and extending Omaha's lead to 11 again at 53-42.
The Mastodons, however, strung together a 9-0 run between 12:49 and 10:41, which put them ahead 59-57. Omaha responded with a 10-2 spurt of their own, as a Hahn trey at 8:48 pushed the Mavericks' lead to six.
Coming out of the final media timeout, Omaha led 73-70 before the Mastodons tied it at 75-75 with 1:44 left thanks to a Konchar 3-pointer. Tyus then drilled a three of his own on the ensuing possession, again spotting UNO a 78-75 edge with 1:27 to play. Deangelo Stewart followed with another triple at 1:05 for the ninth tie of the night at 78-78, and after a Maverick miss, Konchar had the final say by hitting the game-winning jumper with 00.6 on the clock to give Fort Wayne the 80-78 win.
Omaha returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 7, visiting South Dakota State. Tipoff is set for 4:30 p.m. at Frost Arena in Brookings, S.D., and the game will be televised live on Midco and ESPN3. Gary Sharp will also have the radio call on KOIL 1290, and links to live stats, audio and video will be available on OMavs.com.