Published Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 12:01 am / Updated at 1:08 am
UNO goes cold in second half, falls to Denver

DENVER — The UNO women’s basketball team suffered a late cold spell and fell 73-66 at Denver on Thursday night at Magness Arena.

The Mavericks are now 9-9 overall and 1-3 in the Summit League. Denver improved to 4-15 and 2-2 in Summit League play.

The Mavs trailed by as many as eight points late in the first half but fought back to take a 52-50 lead on a 3-pointer by Ericka House with 11:59 to play. But the Mavs converted just one field goal and scored four points over the next 8:51, while Denver went on a 15-4 run to take a 65-56 lead with 4:26 left.

The Mavs finally were able to put together productive possessions late in the game, but it was too little too late. UNO got within 70-66 with 31 seconds left, but Denver made 3 of 4 free throws to put the game out of reach.

House matched her career high with 26 points on 9-of-21 shooting, going 5 of 10 from 3-point range. Taijhe Kelly had 12 points and nine rebounds, and Mikaela Shaw had 11 points, seven rebounds and four steals for UNO.

Denver got 17 points and 11 rebounds from Paige Bradley and 13 points from Jordan Johnston.

The Mavs grabbed a 20-17 lead at the 11:47 mark of the first half on a Kelly layup. But UNO went the next 5:50 without scoring as Denver used a 10-0 run to take a 27-20 lead.

House took an inbounds pass and went coast-to-coast in the final seven seconds of the half to convert at the buzzer to pull UNO within 41-37.

The Pioneers hit 8 of 15 (53.3 percent) from 3-point range in the first half, including 6 of 9 to start the game. They came into the game averaging just 5.7 made 3-pointers per game and nearly equaled their season high of nine 3-pointers in a game in the first half.

The Mavs fell behind 45-39 early in the second half and House went to the bench at 18:03 with her third foul. But UNO battled back to tie it at 46 on a hustle play by Kelly to win an offensive rebound against two Pioneer players and finish the putback with 14:56 to play.

House checked back in and hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Mavs up briefly 52-50 with 11:59 remaining. But the Pioneers went on an 8-0 run for a 58-52 lead as the Mavs struggled to put the ball in the basket and went another 3:22 without scoring until two free throws by House.

UNO shot 40.3 percent for the game on 25 of 62 from the field, but was just 10 of 32 (31.3 percent) in the second half.

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