MORAGA, Calif. — UNO’s bid for an upset at St. Mary’s was thwarted in the final 10 minutes Sunday night.
The Mavericks led 51-49 before the Gaels put together a 22-8 run to take control en route to a 75-66 win.
St. Mary’s was coming off an 81-73 victory over No. 15 Utah State on Friday, but the Mavs played the Gaels even most of the way.
“We have played a lot of good teams and Omaha is good, too, so it’s stressful every night but it is making us better,” St. Mary’s coach Randy Bennett said. “Tonight we struggled in the first half, but it makes us play harder and challenges us.”
St. Mary’s went on a 12-0 run for a 24-15 lead midway through the first half before UNO responded with a 17-5 run. Zach Thornhill scored eight of his 13 points during that burst.
UNO (5-4) shot 55.2% in the first half and led 39-35 at halftime.
Tanner Krebs scored the Gaels’ first 14 points of the second half, which included four 3-pointers, but UNO still led 51-49 after Wanjang Tut hit a jumper at the 11:12 mark.
After that, though, St. Mary’s went on its game-changing run. Kristers Zoriks hit the Gaels’ sixth 3 of the second half with 4:50 left to make it 68-59, then the lead grew to 71-59 before JT Gibson hit a 3 with 2:49 left.
UNO shot 34.4% from the field in the second half.
Gibson led the Mavs with 16 points while KJ Robinson added 12 points.
Krebs finished with a game-high 19 as St. Mary’s had five players in double figures. Malik Fitts had 12 points and 13 rebounds for his third double-double this season.
UNO, which had a three-game winning streak snapped, returns to action at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Arkansas State.
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