The Skyhawks were firing on all cylinders Thursday night.Six, to be exact.
Playing its final regular season game without guards Laura Haugen and Lauren McCulloch, FLC's other components kept the engine revving as it rolled to an 83-62 win over Western New Mexico in Silver City, N.M.
The FLC women's basketball team (18-1 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, 25-2 overall) had six players in double digits, accounting for all but two of 83 points for the No. 1 seed in next week's RMAC Shootout.
Junior Audrey George had 16 points and 11 rebounds, junior Allison Rosel had 16 and eight, junior Katie Mackey scored 14, senior Erin Kerr tallied 13, and freshman Mary Rose Paiz and sophomore Abby Jackson both scored 11 points.
Much of that scoring came on uncontested shots resulting from 22 Skyhawk steals. Rosel led the thievery with six - plus three each from Kerr, Paiz and Jackson and two each from Mackey and freshman Stephanie Beeman.
"We try to speed people up to force the issue and take advantage of some easy baskets," FLC head coach Mark Kellogg said.
A 42-27 rebounding advantage in favor of FLC negated a 48-46 field goal percentage advantage for Western N.M.
Ranked No. 4 in the nation by the USA Today/ESPN Division II Coach's Poll, Fort Lewis led by as many as 32 points and 47-22 at the half, but Kellogg found room for improvement in his squad's lackluster second half.
"It was a pretty unorganized game," Kellogg said. "I think they play a little bit that way to try to get you unorganized. We got out of our structure a little bit, obviously a little more in the second half than the first half. We allowed a lot of points.
"We'll try to somehow ignore this second half," he said. "It's hard to do from a coaching perspective, because that's what sticks with you going home."
The leading scorer for Western New Mexico (6-12, 8-18) was junior Ashley Vigil. Junior Audra Major had 14, and junior Krystal Davis added nine. The Mustangs have lost six consecutive games.
The Skyhawks will open up postseason play with their Shootout quarterfinal at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Whalen Gym.
Kellogg said McCulloch is likely to return, but the Skyhawks will have to wait and see with Haugen.
Kellogg pointed to the play of Beeman and Paiz as evidence of a silver lining to the injury bug.
"The Mary Roses of the world have figured out how to play and what their role is on this team," Kellogg said. "If they've learned and matured from the experience, that just makes us that much better when Laura gets back."