MACOMB, Ill. — UNO led nearly from beginning to end in picking up its third straight win.
Zach Jackson scored 22 points to lead four Mavericks in double figures as UNO earned an 80-71 road win over Western Illinois on Thursday night.
Western Illinois scored the game’s first bucket, but UNO then hit four 3-pointers over the next three minutes to race to a 15-7 lead and stayed in front the rest of the way.
Jackson hit two of those early 3-pointers and scored 18 in the opening half. When JT Gibson beat the first-half buzzer with another trey, UNO took a 45-33 lead to halftime. Gibson scored 13 of his 14 points before the half.
UNO finished the night 10 of 23 on 3-pointers, going 8 of 16 in the first half.
UNO also came out quick to start the second half as Mitch Hahn made three baskets to stretch the lead to 51-33. Western Illinois didn’t cut its deficit to single digits until the final minute when Isaac Johnson made a layup with 31 seconds for the game’s final points.
KJ Robinson added 18 points and five rebounds for the Mavs, while Hahn finished with 11 points and a team-best nine rebounds.
Western Illinois, which has dropped four straight, got 22 points from Kobe Webster, while Brandon Gilbeck, the Leathernecks’ 7-foot center added 10 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.
But UNO was effective on the boards, outrebounding the Leathernecks 37-29.
And the Mavericks continue to be efficient offensively as they have scored at least 80 points in all five Summit League games. With the win, the Mavericks improve to 4-1 and are tied for second in the league race with Purdue Fort Wayne, a half-game behind South Dakota State.
After back-to-back road wins — the Mavericks defeated North Dakota 92-91 on Jan. 10 — UNO returns home to play South Dakota at Baxter Arena on Sunday at 6 p.m. South Dakota is 2-3 in league play.
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