A total of 88 free throws.
Fort Lewis College took 64, a league record, with mixed success.
In as physical and chippy a game as there possibly can be, the Skyhawks mens basketball team kept grinding away, eventually turning a three-point halftime advantage into an 85-76 victory over previously unbeaten Adams State in a game that felt like it had more bumps and bruises than buckets from the floor.
The bottom line was it was a gut check, Hofman said. Theyre very physical; they play a lot of guys that play hard and get after you. I was pleased with the fact that we gutted it out.
Most of the work, particularly for the Skyhawks (6-1, 2-1 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference), was done from the free throw line. FLC hit 38 of a whopping 64 attempts off of 41 Grizzlies fouls.
It was enough but still not the success rate Hofman was looking for after a 5-for-15 performance in last Saturdays loss at CSU-Pueblo.
Its two games in a row now that weve shot poorly from the line, Hofman said. Its just stepping up with confidence and making them. ... Theres really no formula.
The main beneficiary? Fort Lewis Matt Morris.
After returning from an apparent ankle injury, Morris did yeomans work in 32 minutes, hitting 14 free throws en route to a 20-point, 12-rebound performance. Hofman called his 6-6 forward a warrior after the victory, and Morris had to be because he was locked in battle with ASCs Seth Heinbaugh all night in a matchup that included myriad elbows and floor burns.
Its one of those things, its the best Adams State team theyve had in awhile ... and both teams, weve been waiting all week for this game, Morris said. We just came out ready to fight.
FLC ballooned the lead to as many as 14 at 76-62 with 3:30 remaining before an eventual 3-point play by Morris and a series of free throws by DeAndre Lansdowne, who led all scorers with 21 points.
Matt Billups then sealed the deal.
Billups was of critical importance in the absence of the injured David Kanyinda, who averages more than 13 points off the bench. Billups scored 14 points in 23 minutes.
He does a really good job coming off the bench, Morris said of Billups, who started last year. Between Dorian (Williams) and Matt Billups, we dont drop a level at all.
FLC opened the game on a 19-6 run before Adams State (5-1, 2-1 RMAC) battled back to square the game at 28, then again at 30.
The Skyhawks ended the first half up 39-36, and they never relinquished that lead in the second half.