OMAHA, Neb – The Omaha women’s basketball team dropped a conference home game Wednesday night, falling 78-74 to Western Illinois at Baxter Arena. The Mavericks are now 8-9 (1-3 Summit League), while the Leathernecks improve to 14-4 (4-1 Summit League).
Senior guard Michaela Dapprich scored a team-high 20 points on 7-of-15 shooting with six 3-pointers, adding six rebounds and an assist. Junior guard Remy Davenport finished with 19 points, eight assists and four rebounds.
Senior forward Mikaela Shaw added her fifth double-double of the season with 16 points and 12 rebounds with four assists, and freshman forward Jay Bridgeman had four points and seven boards.
Emily Clemens led Western Illinois with 23 points, hitting 7-of-14 from the floor. Morgan Blumer finished with 19 points, six boards and two blocked shots. Taylor Higginbotham added 13 points and six boards, and Olivia Braun had 11 points and four blocks.
The Mavericks shot .400 (24-of-60) from the field, while the Leathernecks finished at .435 (27-of-62) from the floor. UNO shot .542 (13-of-24) from long range, while SDSU shot only .200 (5-of-25) from deep. Omaha finished at .684 (13-of-19) from the free throw line, while Western Illinois connected on .864 (19-of-22) from the stripe. The Mavericks had a 43-30 edge in rebounds.
Omaha grabbed a 10-4 lead midway through the first quarter, sparked by a pair of 3-pointers from Dapprich. The Mavericks continued their hot shooting from the outside to close the half as Davenport and junior Marissa Preston each hit threes to close the quarter with Omaha ahead, 22-12.
The Mavericks hit three 3-pointers to open the second quarter pushing the lead to 13 at 31-18. The lead grew to 15 with 3:16 left in the first half on another trey from Davenport. A quick 6-0 spurt from the Leathernecks cut the lead to 39-30 before a layup from sophomore center Courtney Vaccher made the score at the half, 41-30.
Four points from Shaw in the opening minute of the second half nudged the Maverick lead back to 13 at 45-32. Omaha kept its double-digit lead until a three-point play by Blumer with 3:55 left in the third quarter cut the lead to nine. The Mavericks answered with a 3-pointer from Davenport as the lead grew back to double figures. Shaw converted a pair of free throws late in the period to make the score 64-51. Western Illinois drew a foul with six seconds left and converted both shots from the stripe to make UNO’s lead at the end of the quarter, 64-53.
Two Shaw free throws and a 3-pointer from Dapprich put Omaha out front 69-55 with 8:56 left in the fourth quarter. The Leathernecks held the Mavericks scoreless the next 6:41 as they chipped away at UNO’s lead. Dapprich ended the Western Illinois' run and pushed Omaha’s lead back to four with 2:06 remaining. The Leathernecks cut the lead to one, 74-73, with 27 seconds remaining thanks to a Blumer 3-pointer. Following two missed free throws by Omaha, Blumer put Western Illinois up one with 12 seconds on the clock. The Leathernecks hit 3-of-4 free throws in the final four seconds for the 78-74 win.
Omaha returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 14, hosting South Dakota. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. at Baxter Arena, and Donny Baarns will have the radio call on 1180 Zone 2, and links to live stats, audio and video will be available on OMavs.com.