It’s never easy to go on the road to play a basketball game in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The Fort Lewis College women’s basketball team experienced that Friday at the Gallogly Events Center in Colorado Springs.
Though the Skyhawks raced out to a 16-6 lead after one quarter, it was the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Mountain Lions that would control the rest of the game. A 3-point shot before the halftime buzzer from Abby Feickert gave the Mountain Lions a 24-22 lead at the halftime break, as turnovers and the UCCS defense stifled FLC in the second quarter.
It was more of the same the rest of the way, as UCCS (3-11, 2-6 RMAC), would take a 40-32 advantage to the fourth quarter and eventually build a double-digit lead and roll to a 62-48 victory.
“We were up the entire first half until the buzzer-beater they had to end the second quarter,” FLC head coach Orlando Griego said. “We came out of halftime, and we just could not make shots. We were aggressive, got to the free-throw line and got inside to attack the basket. But we couldn’t make our layups, and when we got fouled, we couldn’t make our free throws.”
The Skyhawks shot a dismal 10-of-26 from the foul line and 2-for-21 from 3-point range. FLC also was only 29% shooting from the field at 18-of-62.
“We shot atrocious,” Griego said.
FLC lost ground near the top of the conference standings with the loss, as they fell to 10-3 overall and 6-2 in RMAC play. Colorado Mesa University dismantled New Mexico Highlands to remain undefeated in conference at 8-0.
A 3-point show from Feickert helped the Mountain Lions sustain momentum whenever FLC looked to get back into the game. She scored 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-8 from 3.
“We were not locking into our defensive concepts, and she’s a good shooter,” Griego said of Feickert. “We knew going in she would shoot the ball. Credit to her having the confidence and making her shots. It was tough watching it because our girls were working hard to stay in the game, but she kept making shots.”
Feickert was aided by the play of Kaity Hovasse, who had eight points in 16 minutes. Caley Barnard also had eight points to go with six rebounds.
FLC was led by freshman forward Jordan Vasquez. She finished with a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds, though she turned it over five times. Junior point guard Katrina Chandler added 13 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals in the loss. Jordan Carter had six points and four rebounds in the first half. She finished with eight points and seven rebounds.
The Skyhawks will try to erase Friday night from memory and get ready to take on Colorado School of Mines (8-5, 5-3 RMAC) at 5 p.m. Saturday in Golden. The Orediggers pounded Adams State 79-36 on Friday night at home.
“We have to respond,” Griego said. “It’s a big one tomorrow. With back-to-back games, you don’t have long to think about the one the night before.”