In the end, it was a layup by IUPUI’s Kerah Nelson with 0.7 seconds left that sunk the University of Nebraska at Omaha women’s basketball team 45-43 in front of 378 Saturday at Sapp Fieldhouse.
But UNO coach Chance Lindley said the game wasn’t lost on Nelson’s shot in the last second.
It was the previous 39:59 that led to the Mavs’ fourth home loss in 15 games this season.
“Every possession matters, and we didn’t lose that game just based off that one last-second shot they hit,” Lindley said.
“No possession is defined for a game. You’ve got to do things right for 40 minutes. Not 20 of them.”
IUPUI set the physical tone of the game in the first half on the glass, when the Jaguars pulled down 12 offensive rebounds and scored 10 of their 21 points on second-chance opportunities. They finished the half with 16 points in the paint.
The Mavericks corrected the problem in the second half, allowing IUPUI five offensive rebounds, but they were unable to translate it into a win.
“I just thought we didn’t really commit to (rebounding) very well in the first half,” Lindley said, “and I thought we did a much better job in the second half — which is why we fought back.”
Paige Frauendorfer had 20 points and eight rebounds to lead the Mavs. Her jumper with 25 seconds left tied the game at 43 and forced the last Jaguar possession.
She said the Mavericks’ first-half play made it difficult to climb the mountain in the second half. Omaha trailed 21-18 at the half.
“I think we kind of dug ourselves a little bit of a hole,” Frauendorfer said. “We were only down by a few points at halftime, but when we make those mistakes in the first half with offensive rebounds and turnovers, that kind of hurts us.”
Frauendorfer scored eight straight points for UNO in a span of 2:12 of the second half to give the Mavericks a 28-27 lead with 14:53 remaining.
Jamie Nash, who had nine points and four assists for the Mavs, said good rebounding is a result of extra effort.
“Rebounds are about how bad you want it,” Nash said. “It’s not about who is more athletic or any of that. It’s who pursues it and who wants it.”
UNO fell to 16-8 overall and 6-6 in the Summit League, while the Jaguars improved to 14-9 and 7-3 in league play.
After UNO got off to a 4-2 lead 2:46 into the game, IUPUI used the next 3:43 to go on a 9-0 run and open an 11-4 advantage.
The Mavs fought back with a 14-4 spurt to go up 18-15 on an Ericka House layup with 3:19 remaining in the first half.
But IUPUI scored the last six points of the half, including a putback at the buzzer by Nevena Markovic off a missed 3-pointer by Katie Comello.
Markovic led IUPUI with 14 points.
The Mavericks hope to take advantage of an 11-day layoff to heal some injuries before they hit the road to play South Dakota State and North Dakota State.
“We have some kids that do a phenomenal job of playing through some minor aches and pains,” Lindley said. “Hopefully we can take some time to rest some bodies and come back with everybody 100 percent for our next game.”
Contact the writer: