Maverick Maniac's Musings

February 8, 2013

2012-13 Omaha Women’s Basketball – Game #23 Recap – Western Illinois

Filed under: College Sports,Omaha Mavericks,Recaps,Women's Basketball — Jon Green @ 3:10 pm

Taijhe Kelly seems to have become a different player over the last week or so, and Thursday night was the home crowd’s first chance to see her at her peak. And did she ever put on a show.

Kelly tied the UNO school record with seven blocks. She’s the third woman in school history to reach that total and the first ever to do it in a home game. To go along with that block total she went 5-9 from the field for 10 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Kelly’s fantastic game was a big boost for the Mavericks as they came back home to the Sapp Fieldhouse on Thursday night 

For much of the early game Omaha looked like they could handle Western Illinois. The Mavericks led 19-9 after nine minutes but the lead dipped to 23-20. They led 31-20 late in the half but the lead fell to 31-25 at the half. Omaha led 39-27 three minutes into the 2nd half… but a 7-0 run saw Western Illinois back within five. Omaha led 43-34… but a 15-6 run by Western Illinois finally tied things up at 49 with 5:26 left.

Credit the Leathernecks for never quitting in this one. They never were shooting all that well but caused UNO enough problems on offense to stay in it. So now that Omaha found themselves in a dog fight they turned to Ericka House and Paige Frauendorfer to keep them on top. Two Frauendorfer FTs let Omaha take a 51-49 led which would soon result in a tie. Then house stepped up hitting a jumper and later two FTs to give the Mavericks a three point lead with 2:44 left.

After a Western Illinois turnover Carolyn Blair-Mobley rebounded a Jamie Nash miss late in the shot clock and the ball found House wide open outside for a three. House put up a perfect shot and just like that gave Omaha what felt like a huge six point lead. Paige Frauendorfer rebounded a Western Illinois miss and ended the next possession by driving to the glass and drawing a foul to earn the bonus FT. She completed the three point play to give the Mavericks a nine point lead which was more than enough in the end.

Jamie Nash and Ericka House both missed the front end of 1-and-1’s at the FT line but Western Illinois only got three points out of those two possessions and two more Paige Frauendorfer FTs provided the final margin.

Paige Frauendorfer’s 23 points somehow weren’t the main story on Thursday. Paige picked the Mavericks up when they needed and took a lot of tough shots. She went just 6-17 from the field but went 10-11 from the FT line. Ericka House ended up with 14 points off the bench. Omaha did what they needed to held on, but it wasn’t quite the performance it looked like it could be.

This was a weird game where I constantly felt like Omaha was playing well and in total control of the game, yet Western Illinois never was too far away and stayed in it. Credit Omaha for some good defense on Saule Kontautaite who went just 2-10 from three and didn’t get a lot of open looks. Omaha won this game due to strong offensive rebounding. They outrebounded Western Illinois on the offensive glass 13-6 which meant taking nine more shots in the game. the two teams saw a little difference in shooting, turnovers, and FTs, but the offensive rebounding was where the real damage occurred.

The Mavericks now take on IUPUI on Saturday. Omaha’s still alive in the race for 2nd, but Saturday is a must win as far as that is concerned!

It was Over When: Omaha really got on a nice roll after this game was tight with 4 minutes left. When Paige Frauendorfer hit the layup and FT to take the lead from 6 to 9 with one minute left I felt it was over. Problem was UNO missed two front ends of 1-and-1’s and gave up a three point play on the first… so it wasn’t really over until Frauendorfer hit two more FTs to put UNO back up eight with 15 seconds left.

Player of the Game: Taijhe Kelly gets her 3rd straight player of the game award. A fantastic performance with 10 points, 13 rebounds, two assists, a school-record SEVEN blocks and NO TURNOVERS!!

Season Total:
Paige Frauendorfer (7)
Carolyn Blair-Mobley (6)
Jamie Nash (4)
Taijhe Kelly (4)
Cathleen Cox (1)
Casse Vaughn (1)

Efficiency Ratings:
Taijhe Kelly – 24
Paige Frauendorfer – 16
Carolyn Blair-Mobley – 14
Ericka House – 11
Jamie Nash – 5
Stacia Gebers – 3
Carly Cator – 1
Casse Vaughn – 0

Season Average:
Paige Frauendorfer – 14.2
Carolyn Blair-Mobley – 13.0
Jamie Nash – 10.3
Taijhe Kelly – 7.6
Ericka House – 6.0
Casse Vaughn – 5.6
Carly Cator – 3.4
Cathleen Cox – 2.4
Stacia Gebers – 2.3
Kate Bayes – 1.6
Myhiah Dotzler – 0.9
Allison Jackson – 0.7

Team Ratings: Omaha’s offense was decent but nice to see that strong defensive number. The Mavericks didn’t shoot all that great but were pretty good at not turning it over and did a great job on the glass.

Possessions: 68
Offensive Points per Possession : 0.93
Defensive Points per Possession : 0.79
eFG%: 41.1%
Turnover Rate: 17.6%
Offensive Rebounding: 32.5%
Defensive Rebounding: 81.8%
A/B%: 65.2%
Floor%: 48.6%
FT Prod: 19.4

Response to 3 things to watch:
1) Taijhe Kelly – Thursday was a great example of the kind of player Kelly can be week in and week out for Omaha. She was a presence on both the offense and defensive glass as she grabbed five offensive boards and eight defensive to lead Omaha in both categories. That defensive presence was big as Omaha grabbed 30 of 36 available defensive rebounds, one of their best performances of the year. She was efficient inside at 5-9 from the field with no turnovers. Defensively she was a presence with seven blocks and several times she forced Ashley Luke to travel.

Western Illinois was actually changing their lineup/post options as they tried to solve the Taijhe Kelly problem. How great to see her changing the way other team tries to play.

To add some color to Kelly’s seven blocks… only 20 times this year has a player in the country had eight or more blocks and 24 times a player has had seven. Seven is the most by a Summit League player this season. Kelly’s 13 rebounds weren’t a season high but she had never grabbed more than six against a D1 team at home. She’d never scored more than eight at home against a D1 team. So for the home town crowd who hadn’t seen her two double-doubles last year on the road, her double-double at Oakland and her 15 rebounds at Fort Wayne, this was as good as she’s ever looked.

2.) The Frauendorfer/Blair-Mobley duo – 34 combined as these two both had strong games. Blair-Mobley didn’t get to the FT line but was more efficient with her actual shots. A combined 13 rebounds and six steals.

3.) Jamie Nash – Still a kind of mixed bag out of Nash. Had eight assists, her most since the North Dakota State game, and had only four turnovers, her least since the Fort Wayne game in early January. Unfortunately she couldn’t find her shooting touch and she went just 2-10, her worst shooting game since the IUPUI game where she also went 2-10. Thankfully Omaha didn’t need those baskets and since she didn’t turn it over very much Omaha got a few more looks.

Prediction Response: Omaha never quite pulled away like I thought they could though they threatened to at times. Good to get a win regardless.

Upcoming Opponent: IUPUI on Saturday is going to be a big game. They sit a game ahead of UNO in the Summit League and Omaha needs to split the season series.

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