After a trying and tense first half, DeAndre Lansdowne finally got the chance to do perhaps one last parade wave to the fans.
Lansdowne who does his patented wave after every home victory and fellow seniors Kyle Behrens, Connor Drumm, Tayler Faust, David Kanyinda and Daniel Steffensen parlayed a strong second half for the Fort Lewis College mens basketball team into a 67-53 victory over Colorado Christian on Saturday in what could be the sextets final game in Whalen Gymnasium.
Early on, however, it seemed as though the Cougars could steal the spotlight and deliver a devastating blow to the Skyhawks a night after a deflating loss to Colorado Mines.
CCU, just 7-17 and 6-14 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, led 29-27 at halftime, prompting FLC head coach Bob Hofman to not-so-politely cajole his players to play with more desperation over the final 20 minutes after shooting just 28 percent in the first half.
Coach (Hofman) came and ripped us. We were just saying, Were better than this team, and we just need to come out and play the game we know, Lansdowne said.
The pep talk apparently worked, pushing the Skyhawks to outscore CCU 40-24 in the second half.
FLC jumped ahead for good thanks to a 12-1 run early in the half. With the score tied at 35, Lansdowne, who had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds in a rare reserve appearance, hit a pair of free throws, followed by a Matt Billups layup.
After a Jeff Jefferson free throw, Steffensen drilled a 3, and Lansdowne followed with a jumper and then a steal and a one-handed dunk to cap the run and give FLC a 47-36 lead.
All the seniors I think played well, said Lansdowne, typically a starter but volunteered to be the odd senior out of the starting lineup. Its just one of those nights that we want to go out with a memory together.
With just two road games left in the regular season, every win is precious for FLC.
Im just pleased that they came out when they had to and got it done (Saturday night), Hofman said.