Both teams entered Tuesday’s game ready to play for the third time in five days. While Fort Lewis College played sharp, the Adams State Grizzlies played like a team in need of a day off.
The No. 16 Fort Lewis College women’s basketball team plastered its rival from Alamosa with an 82-47 win at Whalen Gymnasium in Durango.
“It showed that we were focused,” FLC head coach Jason Flores said. “What I loved was our ball movement. There (were) a few possessions where it wasn’t just one extra pass, it was maybe two or three.”
Adams State couldn’t get anything going against a smothering Skyhawks defense. The Grizzlies (2-5, 0-5 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) were held to 3-of-15 shooting in the first quarter and 7-of-26 (26.9 percent) in the entire first half. FLC built a 45-18 lead by halftime and got a chance to rest several starters during the second half.
Offensively, FLC (9-1, 4-1 RMAC) couldn’t be contained. The Skyhawks shot 50 percent in the first half and made 9-of-11 free throws to build the commanding lead. Astrea Reed was a perfect 3-for-3 shooting for six points in nine minutes played in the first half. Vivian Gray had eight points in 10 minutes, and Kayla Herrera also had eight points in 16 minutes. Shelby Patterson led the team in first-half scoring off the bench with 11 points. She finished with 14 and noted she was happy to play at home during final exams week. Last year, many FLC players had to reschedule finals while playing a road-heavy schedule before the holiday break.
“It just helps because it takes the stress out,” Patterson said. “You’re in your own bed, your family is able to come. It’s a comfort.”
Gray and Reed played limited minutes in the third quarter before taking the rest of the night off. Reed went 7-of-7 shooting before missing her final 3-point attempt in the third quarter. She scored 16 points and had three assists and three steals in only 15 minutes of play. Gray finished with 10 points, six rebounds, six assists and four blocked shots in 17 minutes.
FLC had assists on 23 of its 31 made baskets.
“It just felt like practice,” Reed said. “Passing it, moving off the ball, a couple extra passes here and there and some good movement. My teammates made it really easy for me. A lot of times, inside, even the guards, they’d drive and they’d draw two or three defenders and give me a pretty wide-open look.”
Adams State was lost all night, with head coach Joe Hunt repeatedly asking his team, “What are we in?” He asked that question of his players on both ends of the floor. Even when the Grizzles knew what they were in, they struggled to execute with 26 turnovers in the game. Adams State turned it over 10 times in the third quarter alone. All the turnovers led to 37 points for FLC. The Skyhawks also won the rebound battle 43-34.
“You gotta keep focused,” Flores said of the lopsided game. “Keep doing the things that are gonna help us. Sometimes it’s just about what you’re doing and making sure you’re doing that the best you can.”
Next up for the Skyhawks is a trip to Salt Lake City to face the Westminster Griffins (3-5, 2-2 RMAC).
“Really dangerous on their home floor,” Flores said of the Griffins. “Really good offensive team. They spread you out, give you lots of different looks. ... Everybody has to guard. We have to be really strong across the board or else. They’re patient, wait for that one mess up and they hit you with it.”