The freshly minted sixth-ranked Skyhawks almost lost their newfound title as quickly as it came.Early Tuesday, the Fort Lewis College women's basketball team was ranked No. 6 in the USA Today ESPN Division II Top 25 Coaches' Poll.
Late Tuesday, FLC used a seven-point second-half rally in the final 5 minutes to steal a 61-60 victory from Adams State College in Alamosa.
"For 36 minutes, we didn't deserve to win," Skyhawks coach Mark Kellogg said. "They outworked us. They outplayed us.
"We played defense just long enough in the last two minutes, and when we needed to make plays, we made plays."
Fort Lewis whittled a seven-point deficit in the final 5 minutes to a one-point lead with 16 seconds to play in regulation.
Erin Kerr had back-to-back 3s.
Allison Rosel had a 3-point play - field goal and a free throw.
Katie Mackey had a layup.
Laura Haugen had a jumper.
"She got the ball on the left wing from Kerr," Kellogg said of Haugen's game-winning field goal. "She took two dribbles, then pulled up and hit an eight-foot jumper. She had a hand in her face; it was a huge shot."
Fort Lewis held Adams State to just five points in the final 5 minutes, including a pair of missed field goals in the final minute.
Vera Jo Bustos' shot attempt at the final buzzer fell well short of the rim.
"We had the cards stacked against us," said Kellogg, referring to the Skyhawks' schedule: three road games in just five days.
"We didn't play great, but we battled, and we hung tight. There was a thin margin of error. They're a solid, well-coached team."
Fort Lewis extended its win streak to 12 games and is now 15-1 overall and 8-0 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
"Our target is going to get bigger," Kellogg said. "We're going to get everyone's best."