It took the Fort Lewis College womens basketball team a little bit to wake up after an emotional victory over previously unbeaten Metro State on Friday.
But once the Skyhawks got rolling, it was curtains for overmatched Regis.
FLC held the Rangers without a point for nearly seven minutes at the end of the first half, and boosted by a 19-2 run, the Skyhawks routed Regis 77-50 on Saturday at Whalen Gymnasium.
It wasnt a particularly strong shooting performance by either team, with FLC shooting 38 percent and Regis hitting on just 35 percent of its attempts.
But the Skyhawks turned in another outstanding performance on the boards, pulling down 18 offensive rebounds to help themselves to a 50-31 advantage overall.
Most of the time, its not the first shot that beats you. Its the second, junior Mary Rose Paiz said.
The deciding 19-2 run began with the outcome still very much in doubt.
Fort Lewis (17-1, 12-1 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) led just 24-21 with 7:32 left in the first half, but boosted by five Paiz free throws, five points from Erika Richards and a key three-point play by Stephanie Beeman, FLC pushed the lead to 40-21.
I just think we wanted to come out with that mindset; I just dont think we did, Paiz said. But after we were like, Oh (shoot), weve got to get going.
Regis Salina Kuiper ended the nearly seven-minute scoring drought with a jumper with 36 seconds left in the half, but Andrea Owens 3 at the buzzer capped the run, giving Fort Lewis a 43-23 halftime lead and essentially burying the Rangers in a wave of momentum.
Paiz led the Skyhawks with 15 points and nine rebounds, and Dana Schreibvogel and Richards each chipped in 11 points.
Kellogg credited Richards increased minutes and recently renewed offensive output to a focused effort to improve her shot selection and not just settle for long jumpers, while at the same time embracing a drive-and-kick philosophy.
Thats what weve worked on with her is not settling, FLC head coach Mark Kellogg said. She can get all of those shots, and well get shots for her all the time. ... She can put it on the floor; shes a good athlete.
Most of the Skyhawks starters got a long respite after FLC weathered an early Regis outburst in the second half to push the lead up to as much as 68-41 with 9:17 left.
The extra minutes for freshmen like Richards, Kuchar, Christine Groh and reserves like Alex Easterbrook and Andrea Owens should pay dividends once the postseason rolls around.
Its invaluable. You cant replicate or duplicate it in practice. Its something that only in a game can you do, and you have to understand it, Kellogg said.
Meagan Nickell led Regis (7-10, 6-7 RMAC) with 15 points, and Lauren Luebbe added 10.
Kaitie Vader had seven assists for Regis, but former Bayfield High School standout Bri Simbeck didnt see action for the Rangers.