The Skyhawks needed a big victory to shake out of the doldrums of a three-game losing streak.
They responded with one of their most complete efforts of the season.
The Fort Lewis College women’s basketball team used a solid defensive effort and well-rounded scoring from its top offensive threats to top Regis 79-61 on Friday at Whalen Gymnasium.
The Skyhawks (8-6, 5-5 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) were stingy defensively, holding Regis, which entered the game leading the RMAC at 75.9 points per game, to just 61 points and 38-percent shooting from the field.
Tae’lor Purdy, Regis’ leading scorer this season, scored 21 points in the first half but was held to a more respectable eight points after intermission on just 2-of-9 shooting from the floor for 29 total points. Kaycee Hert had 16 points and Brandi Collins 14 for a Regis squad that led for a total of 6 seconds.
“It’s what we need to do to win,” FLC head coach Jason Flores said. “If we can hold teams – we held them to (38) percent – if we can consistently do that, then we’re going to be pretty good. There’s no other way about it.”
“For her to come and put up 21, we realized that we really needed to lock down on her and got it done,” FLC guard Ashley Kuchar said.
FLC, meanwhile, got a boost from its top scoring threats. Kuchar tied a career high with 24 points. Erika Richards, honored after the game for topping the 1,000 career point mark earlier this month, scored 21. Mary Brinton added 15 off the bench to go with six blocks, and Christie Groh scored 10.
“We’re going to do things that put them in position to have success if we just execute,” Flores said.
The Skyhawks were strong on the glass in the second half, outrebounding Regis by nine to finish with a 44-33 edge on the glass. Kaile Magazzeni led the way with nine caroms, while Kuchar led a big rebounding night for the guards with eight boards.
“I think we came into this game with the mindset that we had to buckle down on all facets of the game,” Richards said. “And I think a lot of us kind of took it personally and made sure that we did rebound down.”
FLC used a 10-2 run early in the second half to put distance between itself and the Rangers (7-7, 5-5 RMAC). And Purdy was unable to bring them back as she had in the first half, when Regis trailed by 13.
It was a much-needed victory for an FLC team in a bunch in the middle of the RMAC standings over a squad in a similar situation. The Skyhawks will be in the same boat Saturday night when they host Metro State.
“It’s big coming back. None of us were happy after last weekend,” Flores said. “Had we played like this, I think the results would have been different.”