Maverick Maniac's Musings

January 25, 2013

2012-13 Omaha Men’s Basketball – Game #22 Recap – South Dakota

Filed under: Men's Basketball,Omaha Mavericks,Recaps — Jon Green @ 5:56 pm

Thursday was a monumental night for the Omaha men’s basketball team. The 95-90 win over South Dakota is probably their best win of the season, best win of the D1 era, and is their first road Summit League win. Not only was it a great win it is hugely impressive considering the turnaround from less than four weeks ago when South Dakota came to the Ralston Arena and embarrassed Omaha in a 95-72 win. At that point there were very serious questions about the Mavericks. I hadn’t gotten back on my butt about writing this blog but Omaha had just three wins and I had my doubts that they would get to five this year watching that game.

Now Omaha’s got six and with two road games remaining at teams they’ve already beaten (IUPUI and Kansas City) along with a home game against Chicago State and a Bracketbuster game you can see a path to 10 wins. That’s not even considering the possibility of another big upset. It is the kind of win that can change the whole way you think about a team. Now South Dakota is not the best team in the Summit League or anything. They are 4-5 and have won just four games since December 1st. However this is the same South Dakota team that beat South Dakota State in the Dakota Dome and won at Oakland in their last game out. It’s an up and down team, but still one more talented than any other Omaha has beaten.

Omaha led 6-0 within the first seventy seconds and didn’t give up that lead until the closing minutes of the first half when South Dakota twice took one point leads before Omaha settled into a 43-41 lead at the half. Omaha got the lead up to eight in the second half and then pushed it as high as 15 at 75-60 with 9:16 left. South Dakota came roaring back on a 20-6 run to cut it to 81-80 with 4:16 left. Omaha kept having answers as Justin Simmons hit a jumper and Caleb Steffensmeier hit a triple to twice pull the Mavericks back away from one point leads. With 37 seconds left it was a 90-88 lead. CJ Carter hit all four of his FTs down the stretch and Caleb Steffensmeier had another as Omaha saw a Juevol Myles three pointer miss and held on for the 95-90 win.

The scoring performance that jumps out is Justin Simmons’ 26 points, but it wouldn’t have been a win without the other players stepping up as well. 14 from Karhoff, 17 from Carter and Welhouse, and the 14 from Caleb Steffensmeier including three triples. It was his highest output of the year and highest against D1 opposition. Omaha is now 9-0 in his career when he hits double figures.

Omaha did struggle on the defensive glass a bit as they only grabbed 69% of the available rebounds. They also lost the turnover battle by five despite only having 10 themselves. This was the odd game where a team loses the turnover battle, the offensive rebound battle, and the FT battle yet still wins. It was all thanks to Omaha’s overwhelming shooting.

We’ll see if Omaha can get another win on Saturday in Kansas City. After losing nine straight the Roos won two of three including at South Dakota a couple weeks ago. They are coming off a loss at home by two to Houston Baptist on Tuesday. It’s definitely a better team than when Omaha last played them, though the Mavericks are as well I think.

It was Over When: Can’t really call this one over until Juevol Myle’s three missed in the closing seconds.

Player of the Game: Alex Welhouse has struggled to have monster games this year but came up with his best performance in a major moment. Welhouse went 4-7 from three and finished with 17 points and a team high nine rebounds. Two assists and a steal in a very efficient game for Alex, who only spent three minutes on the bench.

Season Total:
Justin Simmons (5)
John Karhoff (5)
Matt Hagerbaumer (4)
Alex Welhouse (4)
Alex Phillips (1)
Caleb Steffensmeier (1)
CJ Carter (1)

Player Ratings (Positionally Adjusted Win Score):
Caleb Steffensmeier – 4.840
Alex Welhouse – 2.934
Marcus Tyus – 2.208
Matt Hagerbaumer – 1.292
John Karhoff – 1.145
Justin Simmons – 1.065
C.J. Carter – 0.758
Tyler Egli – (-1.096)
Alex Phillips – (-2.604)

Caleb’s stat line… 5-7 from the field including 3-4 from three. 1-2 from the FT line. five rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and yes four fouls… all in 18 minutes. Quite the busy night for him.

Season Total:
Matt Hagerbaumer – 1.358
Justin Simmons – 1.084
Alex Welhouse – 1.021
Caleb Steffensmeier – 0.870
Marcus Tyus – 0.854
Alex Phillips – 0.683
C.J. Carter – 0.607
John Karhoff – 0.533
Koang Doluony – 0.380
Jacques Coleman – 0.158
Simon Krych – (-0.092)
Tyler Egli – (-0.210)

Alex Welhouse soared from 0.896 to 1.021. Wow. Steffensmeier jumped from 0.679 to 0.870 (6th to 4th on team).

Team Ratings: Nice quick game. Omaha very efficient on offense and while that 1.16 on defense isn’t great, it got the job done tonight. Omaha’s offense was strong because they didn’t turn it over much and shot the ball well, offensive rebounding and free throws didn’t help much tonight.

Possessions: 76
Offensive Points per Possession : 1.25
Defensive Points per Possession : 1.16
eFG%: 66.4%
Turnover Rate: 13.1%
Offensive Rebounding: 20.7%
Defensive Rebounding: 69.0%
A/B%: 47.2%
Floor%: 54.1%
FT Prod: 15.6

Response to 3 things to watch:
1) Scoring battle – Yea I’d say we saw one of those as Omaha topped 50% for the fifth time in seven games.

2.) Rebounding – Omaha improved on the defensive glass from their first meeting but wasn’t nearly as good on the offensive side. Thankfully it didn’t hurt them at all thanks to the hot shooting.

3.) John Karhoff – Well he didn’t get quite as many points or rebounds but you can’t complain about a 7-8 shooting night. Outstanding work inside for him on the offensive side.

Prediction Response: Well I didn’t think Omaha could put up 95 and there’s NO WAY I would have taken Omaha to win if I knew they gave up 90… so pretty impressed with the offense tonight.

Upcoming Opponent: Omaha travels to Kansas City on Saturday looking for a season sweep. I’m impressed about the win yesterday, but still a lot of growth needed, especially on the defensive end.

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