Friday’s game was a crisp, well-executed affair.
Saturday’s was anything but, and it bit the Skyhawks.
Black Hills State shot 57 percent in the second half and used an edge at the foul line to top Fort Lewis College women’s basketball 77-69 on Saturday at Whalen Gymnasium.
The second half wasn’t kind to FLC offensively. The Skyhawks managed to connect on just 28 percent of their field-goal attempts and went 0-for-8 from 3-point range. FLC (7-4, 4-3 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) went a little more than 5 minutes without a field goal as the second half came down the stretch, scoring just five points in that time span from the free throw line.
“We didn’t have a good rhythm to us,” FLC head coach Jason Flores said. “We put them on the free throw line way too many times; we had too many turnovers. And our execution wasn’t great.”
The Yellow Jackets, meanwhile, shot the ball much better after trailing 38-36 at intermission. While FLC struggled to score from the field, Black Hills State pushed its lead from 63-58 to as much as 73-61.
Flores said the Skyhawks need to get back to work figuring out what went wrong at the offensive end and limiting fouls.
“This is one where we’re going to have to break down pretty intensely and figure out what we have to do to be better than that,” he said.
Black Hills State (7-4, 6-2 RMAC) broke the game open from the foul line, attempting 19 more than FLC and hitting 13 more, a key turning point in an eight-point game.
“I think that we were just making some silly fouls,” FLC senior center Christie Groh said.
“It’s definitely frustrating. I think it was both teams kind of got a lot of the same shots and a lot of the same attacks, but I guess that’s the way it goes sometimes,” said Flores, who picked up a late technical foul arguing a foul call. “We’re not happy about that disparity, but it is what it is now.”
Neither team hung onto the ball well, with the Yellow Jackets committing 20 turnovers to 17 for FLC.
“I can’t explain it. We were out of sorts a little bit,” Flores said. “Seventeen turnovers is too many. Sometimes it’s hard to explain. We turned them over 20 times, outrebounded them.”
Groh led FLC with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Erika Richards scored 18 and Ashley Kuchar 12, but FLC shot just 38 percent from the field for the game and were outscored 21-13 in bench points.
The Yellow Jackets had balanced scoring – 14 from Calli Bechtel, 12 from Dakota Barrie and 11 each from Chelsey Biegler and Taylor Trohkimoinen.
FLC next will play New Mexico Highlands at 6 p.m. Friday in Las Vegas, N.M.