The Fort Lewis College men's basketball team suffered a heart-wrenching loss at the Cougar Den in Lakewood on Saturday night, falling 78-75 to Colorado Christian University despite a gritty comeback effort that saw them overcome a 14-point halftime deficit.
"It was a tough loss," FLC head coach Bob Hofman said. "We really competed in the second half, and that's all I can ask." Freshman guard Jobi Wall scored all of his 17 points in the first period, going 7-for-8 from the field and 3-for-4 from 3-point territory to give the Cougars a 49-35 advantage, which might have seemed insurmountable if not for the Skyhawks' penchant for rallying.
Senior center Kirk Archibeque led all scorers with 20 points, 11 in the second half, when the Skyhawks traded punches with an inspired Cougars squad.
A 14-2 run after the break brought Fort Lewis within two points, before Colorado Christian finally settled back into its offense and held off another late Skyhawk rush in the waning moments for the win.
"The lesson needs to be learning that we can't spot a team 15 points and expect to come back every time," Hofman said.
"Every team we play is going to be super up for us, that's just the way it is. Every time a team beats us, they storm the court."
Senior guard Brendan Puckett also had 17 points, including several clutch free throws, and senior guard Jordan Long contributed 16 for the Cougars.
Fort Lewis (14-4 overall, 5-2 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) went just 17-25 from the free-throw line, a far cry from the 92.3 percent (12-13) shot by steely Colorado Christian (9-6 overall, 4-3 RMAC).
Senior guard Jordan Brooks had 17 points for Fort Lewis on 7-12 shooting and pulled in eight rebounds.
The Fort Lewis men continue their road swing at Alamosa on Tuesday night against Adams State, which beat the Cougars 73-66 on Friday night.
The loss snaps an 8-game winning streak for the Skyhawks.