DES MOINES — Drake pulled away at the end to hold off UNO 88-80 Saturday at the Knapp Center.
Richard Carter scored five points during a 13-5 run midway through the second half as the Bulldogs turned a 54-53 deficit into a 66-59 lead. Drake then held on as UNO cut the deficit to 66-64, 69-66 and 75-71.
A Gary Ricks 3-pointer with 1:52 left pushed Drake’s lead to 78-71, and UNO got no closer than five points the rest of the way.
The Mavericks (3-3) went without their top player, preseason All-Summit League wing Justin Simmons, who suffered a back injury in Tuesday’s win over South Carolina State.
The Bulldogs (3-1) broke away from a 42-42 halftime tie with a 7-0 run, but UNO chipped away and took the lead at 54-53.
Guards CJ Carter and Devin Patterson each scored 17 to lead UNO, while Marcus Tyus started in Simmons’ place and scored 16. John Karhoff scored 12, while Matt Hagerbaumer had nine points and career bests of 13 rebounds and four blocked shots.
Richard Carter led Drake with 23 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three steals. Aaron Hawley added 14 points, and Seth VanDeest and Ricks each had 13. Chris Caird added 12.
UNO shot 44.3 percent (27 of 61) from the field and connected on 11 3-pointers, while Drake shot 49.2 percent (31 of 63) from the field and made nine 3s.
With the help of three early 3-pointers, the Mavs stormed to a 16-9 lead by the first media timeout. A triple from senior guard Caleb Steffensmeier gave UNO a 22-15 advantage, but Drake pulled within one at 10:36 on Trevor Berkeley’s baskets on back-to-back possessions.
The Mavericks surged again to 27-21 with a 3 from redshirt freshman guard Jalen Bradley.
CJ Carter and Tyus each hit 3s to put UNO ahead 40-35, but Caird hit a 3-pointer of his own to knot it 40-40. After a Karhoff jumper and VanDeest’s final layup, the score was 42-42 at the break.
UNO plays Monday at South Carolina State.