MACOMB, Ill. — Western Illinois started out hot Saturday. And the University of Nebraska at Omaha women never found their rhythm.
That added up to a 71-44 loss for the Mavericks, their second straight road defeat as they dropped to 11-5 and 3-3 in the Summit League. The Leathernecks improved to 9-7 and 2-2.
Carolyn Blair-Mobley led all scorers with 20 points and had a game-high nine rebounds for UNO, which shot just 16 of 52 (30.8 percent) from the floor. Meanwhile, Western Illinois shot 46 percent (23 of 50) from the field, including 57.9 percent (11 of 19) from 3-point range.
The Leathernecks built an early 22-8 lead by hitting 6 of 8 from 3-point range in the opening 7:16.
They pushed the lead to 15 on three occasions and the Mavs never cut the deficit to single digits the rest of the half.
Western Illinois took a 37-22 lead into halftime, matching the most points UNO has allowed in the first period this season. The Leathernecks finished the half 8 of 14 from 3-point range, with Michelle Maher hitting four 3-pointers.
Blair-Mobley scored 10 in the first half, but her team shot a combined 8 of 24 from the floor.
Things didn’t get better in the second half for the Mavs, who hit 1 of 9 from the floor in the first 9:16 and never got closer than 13 points.
Western Illinois built their lead to 55-33 with 7:55 left and pulled away late with an 11-2 run in the final minutes for a 27-point win, UNO’s largest defeat of the season.
Kate Bayes and Allison Jackson each made a basket for the first points of their careers in the final minutes for the Mavs.
UNO plays a pair of nonconference road games next week. On Thursday, the Mavs face Chicago State at 7 p.m. Next Saturday, they play Indiana Dabney at 2 p.m.