MACOMB, Ill. — The University of Nebraska at Omaha women’s basketball team couldn’t hold off Western Illinois as the Leathernecks erased a 12-point deficit for a 71-65 win Thursday.
Five Mavs finished in double figures, led by Ericka House with 15 points.
Mikaela Shaw had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, Felicia Anderson scored 13 points, Sami Pawlak had 11 points and nine rebounds, and Taijhe Kelly added 10 points and seven boards.
Ashley Luke, the Summit League’s second-leading scorer, paced Western Illinois with 17 points and nine rebounds. She was held to two points on 1-of-4 shooting in the first half. Michelle Maher added 17 points for the Leathernecks.
The Mavs (9-13, 1-7) jumped to a 6-0 lead keyed by two steals. With the game tied 8-8, UNO used a 14-2 run to build its lead, then held off Western Illinois (12-11, 4-4) for a 32-24 halftime lead.
The Leathernecks came out of the break with a 14-0 spurt to take a 38-32 lead. A pair of free throws by House with 14:41 left ended the Mavs’ scoring drought, but Western Illinois hit back-to-back 3s to go up 44-36.
Two free throws by House followed by a free throw and a turnaround jumper by Pawlak made it 44-41, but WIU hit its fifth 3-pointer of the half for a 47-41 advantage.
The Mavs mounted a late rally with a 3-pointer and two free throws by House with 1:08 left to make it 64-60, but the Leathernecks hit 7 of 8 free throws down the stretch to hang on.
UNO shot 37.3 percent from the field, including 6 of 18 from 3-point range. The Mavs did hit 15 of 16 free throws and outrebounded Western Illinois 38-33.
The Mavericks have the weekend off before visiting South Dakota State on Feb. 13.