Published Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 7:01 pm / Updated at 8:59 pm
BASKETBALL
Early struggles sink UNO against IUPUI

It didn't take long for the crowd of 437 to come to the realization that the University of Nebraska at Omaha women's basketball team was on its way to suffering its fifth straight loss.

IUPUI needed less than six minutes to build a 20-point lead and cruised from there for a 77-45 win at Sapp Fieldhouse.

The Jaguars stunned the Mavs with defensive pressure early and turned it into an 18-0 run that put the Mavericks in a 22-2 hole at the 14:22 mark.

UNO coach Brittany Lange said she expected an athletic Indiana-Purdue squad to press her young team harder than any opponent had so far.

“We talked a lot to our inexperienced team about the amount of pressure that they were going to see, and they haven't seen that pressure at all yet this year or in their careers,” Lange said.

“We weren't ready as far as the counter. It's one of those experiences that they haven't had before.”

The Jaguars forced UNO to commit a season-high 24 turnovers, scoring 32 points off those turnovers.

“It is somewhat expected against this type of team that one of your higher turnover nights would be against IUPUI,” Lange said.

The Mavericks shot just 28.9 percent (13 of 45) for the game as they fell to 9-12 overall (1-6 Summit League) while the Jaguars made 29 of 60 (48.3 percent) to improve to 16-6 and 6-1.

Taijhe Kelly scored eight points and pulled down eight rebounds, and Mikaela Shaw added another eight points for UNO.

Nevena Markovic scored 12 to lead IUPUI, while Kelsi Byrd added 11 and DeAirra Goss scored 10.

Following the initial onslaught, the Mavericks used an 11-4 run over the next 3:58 to pull within 26-13.

But that would be as close as they would get as the Jaguars led 48-19 at halftime.

UNO was 8 of 23 from the floor in the first half, while IUPUI blistered the nets to the tune of 66.7 percent (20 of 30). The Jaguars hit 10 of their first 12 shots.

IUPUI came out of the break cold and missed its first eight attempts. But the Mavs couldn't close the gap as they were just 1 of 6 during that span.

While UNO was outscored 29-26 in the second half, Lange said a positive to take away was how the Mavs were able to adjust down the stretch and be competitive.

“I do like that they responded a little bit,” she said. “We can't be a one-half team, but the second half was a totally different story.”

The Mavericks take to the road Thursday to face Western Illinois, which beat UNO 84-62 on Jan. 11 at Sapp Fieldhouse.

Five of the Mavs' seven remaining games are on the road.

Schedule »
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