Playing its fifth game in seven days, Western New Mexico may have had a chance to hang with the Fort Lewis College mens basketball team if the Skyhawks would have just taken and made shots from a bit closer to the basket in the first half.
But in the opening frame Saturday at Whalen Gymnasium, FLC didnt just put up a steady rain of 3-pointers, it drowned the Mustangs in a monsoon of triples.
The Skyhawks hit 11 of 17 from beyond the arc in the first half and hit a blistering 54 percent from the field overall in the frame en route to a 32-point halftime lead and an eventual 103-61 victory over the road-weary Mustangs.
DeAndre Lansdowne, Mike Matthews, Tayler Faust and Matthias Weissl all connected from deep early, but David Kanyindas four 3s and Daniel Steffensens three triples pushed the Skyhawks over the top from downtown, punctuating short but numerous runs that led FLC to a 61-29 lead at the break.
It felt like everyone was hitting on (all) cylinders. I feel like thats our game right there, Kanyinda said.
Not that the interior was lacking early. Matt Morris scored nine of his 11 in the first half, and Torrey Udall chipped in four from the post, including a dunk.
The Skyhawks used a 31-12 rebound advantage in the half they finished with a 49-28 edge to spark their transition offense, critical no matter where on the floor the shots came from.
A lot of that was their fatigue. Thats a fact. ... When we shoot the ball like that, that really compounded it, FLC head coach Bob Hofman said.
And come the second half, it was time for the reserves to get in on the fun.
Weissl scored eight points in the second, as did Matthews.
Faust chipped in four of his game-high six assists in the period his minutes increased with Dorian Williams absence the last two nights because of what Hofman deemed a coachs decision.
But the second half saw one glaring negative for FLC: Reserve forward Connor Drumm, a senior whos key to the Skyhawks bench rotation, left with an Achilles tendon injury. His status going forward is uncertain, although Hofman said the preliminary report was Drumm hadnt torn the tendon.
TJ Riley and Nate Murdock led the Mustangs (5-12, 5-5 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) with 10 points apiece.
Kanyinda finished with 16, and he and Steffensen (14 points), Weissl (11), Matthews (11), Morris (11) and Lansdowne (10) gave FLC (11-2, 7-2 RMAC) six scorers in double figures.
Fort Lewis has won five in a row since dropping two of three, and while Kanyinda said the team is trending in the right direction, he added FLCs still got plenty of room to grow.
I think were going in the right direction, but I dont think were even close to where we can be yet, he said.