FARGO, N.D. — The Omaha men’s basketball team closed its weekend at North Dakota State Saturday night, falling 80-66 at the Scheels Center.
Leaders for Omaha
Three Mavericks finished in double figures for the night, led by Marlon Ruffin’s 14 points with three 3-pointers and six rebounds. It was the junior’s third straight game in double figures.
Devin Evans had a solid night off the bench with seven points and a season-high-tying six boards.
Leaders for North Dakota State
Rocky Kreuser registered a double-double on 19 points and 11 rebounds with four assists, and Sam Griesel added 18 points. Maleeck Harden-Hayes (14) and Grant Nelson (11) also reached double figures.
Omaha struggled offensively, finishing at 38% (24-of-64) from the field and 33% (4-of-12) from long range. NDSU shot 47% (27-of-57) from the floor and 40% (8-of-20) from three. The Bison outrebounded Omaha 39-32.
The Mavericks forced 10 turnovers while committing a season-low five themselves and outscoring NDSU 14-1 off miscues.
Inside the First Half
Omaha started strong and held a 23-19 lead at the eight-minute mark before the Bison used an 11-0 run to surge ahead 30-23.
Jadin Booth’s seven points led the way in the opening 20, and the Mavericks trailed 41-34 at the midway point.
Inside the Second Half
Robinson and Ruffin poured in eight apiece in the game’s second stanza, with the freshman making 4-of-6.
Omaha pulled within seven when Evans hit twice back-to-back, trimming the Bison advantage to 50-43 with 13 minutes to go. But NDSU worked back to a double-figure lead and never let Omaha within striking distance the rest of the way.
Noting Tonight’s Game
-Omaha is now 2-12 (0-4 Summit League) on the season. The Bison have a four-game win streak and improve to 6-6 (4-0 Summit League).
–Marlon Ruffin’s last three outings have seen him average 20.0 points per game.
The Mavericks move to 1-6 (0-2 Summit League) on the season while the Bison improve to 8-2 (3-1 Summit League).
Leaders for Omaha
Pilakouta’s season-high 16 points and five rebounds led Omaha. She scored nine points in the third quarter on 4-of-6 shooting from the field.
Ogier scored 13 points and posted four boards and two steals while shooting a perfect 7-of-7 from the charity stripe.
Leaders for North Dakota State
Heaven Hamling finished with a game-high 21 points while shooting 8-of-15 from the floor, including 5-of-11 from three-point range. Abby Schulte had nine points and four rebounds while Kadie Deaton and Michelle Gaislerova chipped in seven points apiece.
Omaha shot 43.8% (21-of-48) to North Dakota State’s 41.8% (23-of-55). The Bison knocked down 10 three-pointers and outrebounded the Mavericks 35-28. The Mavericks forced NDSU into 13 turnovers and posted a 34-22 advantage in points in the paint.
Inside the First Quarter
North Dakota State opened the game on a 10-0 run until Sophie Johnston scored on a layup with 3:53 left.
Mariah Murdie scored the other four points for the Mavericks on a pair of buckets as NDSU held a 14-6 lead after the first 10 minutes.
The Bison connected on three three-pointers and posted a 19-8 rebounding advantage over the Mavericks while limiting the Omaha offense to 3-of-16 shooting from the floor.
Inside the Second Quarter
The Bison extended the lead to 27-14 with 4:08 remaining before buckets from Pilakouta, Ogier and Abby Johnson brought the Mavericks within a single-digit deficit at 27-20 with 2:24 left.
North Dakota State answered with a trey with 2:15 remaining to extend the lead to 10 at the half as both teams were held scoreless in the final 2:15 of the half.
The Mavericks shot 33.3 percent in the first half with Pilakouta and Murdie leading the way with seven and six points, respectively. NDSU totaled 30 points in the first half behind 7-of-16 shooting from beyond the three-point line.
Inside the Third Quarter
Back-to-back jumpers from Pilakouta got Omaha within eight with 7:38 left before the Bison reeled off seven straight points over the next two minutes to grab a 40-25 lead.
Ogier sank a pair of free throws with 47 seconds left and added a layup in the final seconds of the quarter to trim the North Dakota State lead to 46-40 heading in the final quarter.
The Mavericks outscored the Bison 22-19 in the third with Ogier and Pilakouta combining for 20 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor and an 8-of-9 clip from the free throw line. North Dakota State shot 5-of-10 from the field to maintain the lead over the Mavericks.
Inside the Fourth Quarter
NDSU opened with a 15-0 run, blowing the game open at 64-42 with 3:40 remaining in the game. Omaha answered with a 13-0 run of their own to make it a 64-55 game with 38 seconds left. The Maverick run began with two free throws by Mikaela Ekdahl and a pair of layups from Sarah Schmitt.
Kia Wilson scored a layup in her season debut and Schmitt added a layup before Akili Felici knocked down a three-pointer with 38 seconds left to cap the 13-0 run. NDSU sank two free throws with 25 seconds left to clinch the 66-55 win.
The Mavericks shot 55.6 percent from the floor to NDSU’s 53.8 percent. Schmitt led all scorers in the fourth with six points while shooting a perfect 3-of-3 from the field.
The Mavericks welcome South Dakota State to Baxter Arena in a weekend doubleheader on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 15-16. Tipoff for both games are set for 3 p.m.