BROOKINGS, S.D. — The UNO women’s basketball team forced Summit League power South Dakota State to rally from a halftime deficit on its home court for the first time in more than a year, and the Jackrabbits were able to use a game-ending 12-4 run to close out a 71-60 victory Thursday night at Frost Arena.
The Mavericks got a career-high 30 points from senior guard Ericka House and a near triple-double of 16 points, 12 rebounds and a school-record eight blocked shots from junior Taijhe Kelly, but they lost their seventh straight to fall to 9-14 overall and 1-8 in the Summit League.
The five-time defending league-champion Jackrabbits improved to 18-8 and 9-1 while extending their homecourt win streak to 15 games, including 12 this season.
UNO led 34-30 at halftime. It was the first time SDSU had trailed at halftime at home since its last home loss, Jan. 19, 2013.
After the Jackrabbits rallied for a 59-52 lead, Kelly and Lanese Bough scored baskets to close the gap to 59-56 with 3:30 left. But after UNO misfired on two shots to get any closer, Steph Paluch hit a back-breaking shot clock buzzer-beater for a 61-56 lead with 2:19 left. A UNO turnover led to a fast-break layup 20 seconds later as SDSU widened the lead.
UNO fell behind 8-2 early but stormed back with a 10-0 run to take a 12-8 lead at the 13:50 mark, sparked by eight points by House off the bench on two 3-pointers and a jumper in the paint. SDSU answered back to grab a 13-12 lead, but House scored her fourth bucket in a row for the Mavs for a 14-13 lead. After Paluch briefly gave the Jackrabbits the lead again, Felicia Anderson drilled back-to-back 3s from the same spot to give UNO a 20-15 lead with 10:32 to play.
After SDSU went up 30-27 with 4:28 left in the half, the Mavs shut down the Jacks for the rest of the half to take a 34-30 halftime lead.
Kelly came out with consecutive buckets after halftime as the Mavs claimed a 38-32 lead. But the Jackrabbits used five offensive rebounds in the first four minutes of the half to ignite an 8-0 run for a 40-38 lead. House tied it up briefly, but South Dakota State scored the next six. Trailing 48-42, the Mavs found Kelly on the baseline for two layups in a row to get within 48-46.
The Jackrabbits pushed out to a 59-52 lead with 4:38 left, but the Mavericks dug deep as Kelly scored and then House set her career high to pull UNO within 59-56 with 3:30 to go.
SDSU posted a season-high 23 offensive rebounds to fuel its comeback. Mariah Clarin led the Jackrabbits with 18 points.
The Mavs shot 44.6 percent (25 of 56) from the field and 6 of 18 (33.3 percent) from 3-point range, including 4 of 8 from House, who was 12 of 18 overall.