SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Down 11 in the second half, the third-seeded Omaha men's basketball team rallied past No. 6 seed Fort Wayne Sunday night, 84-80 in the Summit League Tournament Quarterfinals. With the win, the Mavericks improve to 17-13 on the season and advance to Monday's semifinal round, while the Mastodons drop to 19-12.
Junior Tre'Shawn Thurman tallied his team-leading eighth double-double of the season, scoring 23 points and hauling in 11 rebounds. Senior Tra-Deon Hollins also had a double-double -- his third -- with 13 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds and four steals.
Senior Marcus Tyus and junior Daniel Norl each had 14 points apiece. Tyus added four rebounds and five assists and shot 10-of-11 from the free throw line, while Norl finished 4-of-7 from long range. Sophomore Zach Jackson rounded it out with 11 more points.
John Konchar scored 25 points to lead four Fort Wayne players in double figures, and Brent Calhoun posted a double-double on 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Omaha opened the game on a 7-0 run and led 16-6 less than five minutes into the game. Fort Wayne then went on a 12-2 spurt, tying the game at 18-18 on a Kason Harrell three with 11:22 left in the half. The Mastodons used a 7-0 run late in the half to go up 42-33 at the break.
Omaha got within striking distance early in the second half, pulling within one at 52-51 after back-to-back Norl 3-pointers. Fort Wayne then rattled off a 10-0 run over the next 1:32 to charge ahead 62-51 with 12:31 left.
The Mavericks struck back though, tying the game at 75-all on a Thurman layup with 2:44 remaining. The score stalled again when Norl connected on a trey at 78-78 and at 80-80 on a pair of Tyus free throws, after which Thurman flushed a two-handed dunk to give Omaha its first lead of the second half at 82-80 with 42 seconds left. Tyus and sophomore Mitch Hahn each hit a free throw to finish it off, while Fort Wayne went 0-of-5 from the field over the last minute, sealing Omaha’s 84-80 victory -- its first in Summit League Tournament history.
Omaha returns to action on Monday, March 6, facing No. 7 seed IUPUI. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., and the game will be broadcast live on Midco and ESPN3. Links to live video, audio and stats will be available on OMavs.com, and tickets are available for purchase at TheSummitLeague.org/tickets.