Given his early-season knack for pulling the Fort Lewis College men’s basketball team from the brink of defeat, it seemed like it had been awhile since Nick Tomsick had buried a clutch 3 for the Skyhawks.
The wait is over.
Tomsick’s 3 with 0.6 seconds left put the Fort Lewis men past Black Hills State, as the Skyhawks escaped Spearfish, S.D., with a 65-63 victory Saturday to stay within a game of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference lead.
Tanner Adler’s two free throws with 6 seconds left catapaulted the Yellow Jackets back in front 63-62 as the teams traded the lead for most of the second half.
After a timeout, Tomsick buried a triple from the right wing, marking the third time this year he’s hit a 3-pointer late that either won the game or forced overtime in a game Fort Lewis (9-1, 6-1 RMAC) eventually won.
“We’re making it too much of a habit, but we’ll take it,” FLC head coach Bob Hofman said.
Alex Herrera posted a double-double for the Skyhawks, scoring a team-high 17 points and pulling in 10 rebounds. Tomsick was the only other Skyhawk in double figures, tallying 16 points.
“Alex is becoming a real force,” Hofman said. “We need to figure out ways to get him the ball and move around him.”
Adler led all scorers with 26 points for the Yellow Jackets (3-9, 2-6 RMAC).
Black Hills State used some hot shooting from 3-point range late in the first half to pull ahead 35-29 at halftime. The Skyhawks, however, answered early in the second half, using a 12-3 run to go up 43-42 following a technical foul on Hofman, who was coaching against Black Hills head coach Bradd Schafer, a former player of Hofman’s at Western State.
“He’s doing just a super job,” Hofman said. “They’re going to be a really good team in this league.”
The teams would swap the lead several times from there, with Fort Lewis often pulling ahead by four or five points before the Yellow Jackets battled back.
“I thought they pretty much outplayed us most of the game. ... It’s basketball. There’s no rhyme or reason,” Hofman said. “I’ll tell you, they played really well (Saturday night).”
The Skyhawks return home to face New Mexico Highlands and Western New Mexico starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Whalen Gymnasium.