UNO put itself in position for a comeback win against Tulsa, but couldn’t quite seal the deal.
The Mavericks had a turnover with 35 seconds left, gave up a 3-pointer with 4.5 seconds to go and then scored only a 2-point basket at the buzzer in losing 49-48 Tuesday night before 279 fans at Sapp Fieldhouse.
“We had the opportunities,” senior wing Paige Frauendorfer said. “I had a chance and I turned the ball over — just little things.”
Frauendorfer scored 12 of her 17 points in the second half and pulled the Mavs into a 46-46 tie with 1:09 left on a clearout and drive from the left wing — the third time UNO had run the play successfully in the half, including the basket that gave the Mavs their first lead of the game at 41-39.
When UNO got the ball back with the chance to go ahead, Tulsa subbed in Ashley Clark to guard Frauendorfer and the freshman contributed to Frauendorfer bobbling it away when the Mavs ran the same play.
“It was working for us and we have confidence in Paige,” UNO coach Chance Lindley said. “That’s part of the game. If that had happened in the first half, no one would be talking about it right now.”
The Golden Hurricane ran the shot clock down before Kadan Brady hit an open 3-pointer for a 49-46 lead.
“We played good defense for 27 seconds of the shot clock and they happened to get one girl loose,” Lindley said.
Rather than calling a timeout that would have allowed Tulsa to set its defense, Lindley then watched as Carolyn Blair-Mobley — whose 3-pointer had given the Mavs a 44-41 lead with 4:59 left — passed to Taijhe Kelly just outside the lane with the clock running down. Kelly scored, but it only pulled the Mavs within one point.
“We had momentum going our way and Carolyn had the ball in her hands and Carolyn can shoot the 3,” Lindley said. “I liked where we were at. ... Did she lose track of (time or score)? Yes and no. But I take full responsibility. As she began to make that pass, I should have jumped in and gotten a quick timeout.
“She tried to make a good play.”
On all of those last-minute possessions, Lindley emphasized that “no game is defined by one possession.”
The fact that UNO (5-2) was even in position to make it a one-possession game is newsworthy.
The Mavs started the game 2 for 20 from the field in falling behind 18-4. They scored only 13 first-half points while shooting 17.1 percent (6 of 35). Then scrappy point guard Jamie Nash injured her ankle at the first-half buzzer.
UNO trailed 24-13.
“I don’t think our defense was any better the first half, I think they just missed open shots,” Tulsa coach Matilda Mossman said. “That was uncharacteristic of them. That was our message at halftime: They are missing shots they normally make and don’t expect that to continue to happen.
“Sure enough, they came back out and Frauendorfer is all of a sudden hitting shots and they came back on us. We didn’t have an answer until there was 4.5 seconds left.”
Nash limped her way through the second half. The Mavs equaled their first-half point total in 3½ minutes, with backup forward Casse Vaughn scoring all 10 of her points, including seven in 52 seconds, during the early burst.
“Things just started clicking,” Frauendorfer said. “We were very unselfish. I thought we did a good job moving the ball around and creating open looks for people.”
Tulsa guard Taleya Mayberry, seventh nationally in scoring at 23.3 points per game, was limited to 22 minutes because of foul trouble but still scored only 10.
In the end, the Golden Hurricane (2-5) found Brady open on the left wing and the sophomore knocked it in.
“We were basically running a motion offense that we run against man-to-man,” Mossman said. “We wanted to make sure the shot clock down to four or five seconds. We had a penetration and a kick and that’s what we were looking for. Fortunately the shot went down.”
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