UNDATED – Matt Pile totaled 18 points and nine rebounds and Marlon Ruffin hit two free throws with 6 seconds left in the game as Omaha held off South Dakota State 81-78.
Noah Freidel sank two free throws with 2:11 remaining to give South Dakota State a 76-75 lead, but Pile and KJ Robinson answered with back-to-back layups to put the Mavericks up 79-76 with 26 seconds left.
Meanwhile, Zion Young scored 21 points and Kobe Webster scored 18 and Western Illinois beat South Dakota 82-75 in a Summit League opener.
The duo combined to make 16 of the Leathernecks’ 31 field goals.
Western Illinois led 39-38 at halftime. A 13-4 run after intermission extended the lead to 52-42 before South Dakota began climbing back.
Stanley Umude made 1 of 2 foul shots with 8:58 left to tie it at 66-all.
The Leathernecks responded with an 8-0 run and the Coyotes never got within four points down the stretch.