The Omaha men's basketball team defeated South Carolina State on Tuesday night in impressive fashion, defeating the Bulldogs 91-59 at Ralston Arena. With the win, Omaha improved to 3-2 (0-0 Summit League), while South Carolina State fell to 1-4 (0-0 MEAC).
Sophomore Marcus Tyus led all scorers with a career-high 24 points, shooting 62 percent (8-for-13) from the field and 3-for-7 from downtown. Tyus also exceled on the defensive side of the ball, forcing three Bulldog turnovers. The sophomore played a team-high 28 minutes in the rout.
Three other Mavericks joined him with double-figure scoring efforts: redshirt freshman guard Jalen Bradley (15 points), sophomore guard Devin Patterson (12) and junior forward Mike Rostampour (10). Bradley shot a perfect 6-6 from the field and was 2-2 from beyond the arc. Patterson led the Mavericks with eight assists, while Rostampour shot a season-best 67 percent (4-for-6) from the floor.
Senior center John Karhoff added eight points, a team-best six rebounds and two blocks, and sophomore forward Simon Krych with six boards of his own.
As a team, the Mavericks forced 21 SCSU turnovers while committing just six of their own, the lowest total since Dec. 9, 2012 at Iowa State.
South Carolina State was led by 22 points from Matthew Hezekiah, as well as 11 points apiece from Daryll Palmer and Koran Wright. Palmer finished with a double-double, adding a game-best 14 rebounds.
Helped by eight points apiece from Rostampour and Karhoff, Omaha shot 52 percent in the first half and forced 12 SCSU turnovers while committing just one themselves. Spurred by an early 11-0 spurt, the Mavericks took a 21-6 lead to start the game. A three from SCSU's Jordan Smith cut it to a 10-point margin at 23-13, but UNO doubled the score at 31-15 with a Carter layup. With 1:52 remaining, Jalen Bradley went in for the fastbreak layup to make it 41-20, and Omaha headed to the locker room after a final bucket from Karhoff that pushed it to 46-25.
Omaha struggled out of the gates in the second half, making just two of its first six shots. By the first media timeout, however, Omaha had extended their lead to 26, and senior guard Alex Phillips' three with 8:42 to go extended the Mavericks' lead to 68-41. The duo of Bradley and Tyus combined to score 19 of Omaha's final 23 points. Omaha took its largest lead of the game with 1:46 remaining on a three by Bradley, putting the Mavericks up by 36.