The Skyhawks started slowly, like this week's snowstorm.
But then, like this week's snowstorm, they picked up intensity and sustained a smothering effort that left Chadron
State stranded at the end of an unplowed driveway.
The Fort Lewis College women's basketball team, fueled by a return to its tenacious pressure defense, overwhelmed the
Eagles 84-35 on Friday night at Whalen Gymnasium.
The avalanche started eight minutes into the first half with a 10-point scoring spree in 84 seconds for the Skyhawks.
Allison Rosel started the run with a basket and foul shot.
Fellow senior Katie Mackey hit a 3-pointer.
Audrey George converted a putback.
And Rosel scored off a Mackey bounce pass.
We really stepped up defensively," Mackey said, crediting the Skyhawks' pressure. A lot of us have played together
for three years, and we can play that (kind of) defense."
That defense held Chadron State to 17 percent shooting in the first half (4-for-23) as the Skyhawks pressed to a
32-10 halftime lead.
We know that we've got to defend better," FLC head coach Mark Kellogg said. Since the Metro (game), we knew we had
to get better on defense.
This was much better," Kellogg said after the Skyhawks, ranked No. 7 in the nation, improved to 10-1 overall, 2-1 in
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play.
Kellogg said the defensive pressure helped the Skyhawks push the offensive pace.
After the first six or seven minutes, we settled in offensively and played better," Kellogg said, recalling their
24-3 run to end the first half.
But the storm wasn't even close to over.
Abby Jackson rained a 3-pointer to start the second-half blizzard. Mackey collected a steal, banked in an acrobatic
layup and swished a 3-pointer off an assist from Laura Haugen.
Within minutes the FLC lead reached 40 points, then 50 points, expanded by the energetic reserves.
Our younger players (Friday night), I thought they were fantastic," Kellogg said.
He said the different lineup groups maintained the same intensity, which helped the Skyhawks play a complete game.
We like to bring energy off the bench," said Mary Rose Paiz, one of 12 different Skyhawks to record steals against
She, too, liked the Skyhawks' defensive pressure Friday night.
We get going with our defense," she said.
Mackey led the Skyhawks with 15 points, five steals and a pair of rebounds.
Rosel had 14 points and five rebounds. George scored 12 with five rebounds. Jackson finished with nine points. Jenna
Santistevan scored eight.
Kelsey Scott of Chadron State led all scorers with 18 points. She scored nine of the Eagle's 10 first-half points.
She hit four 3s.
(Today) will be a totally different game," Kellogg said, looking to today's 6 p.m. home game against
Nebraska-Kearney, which defeated previous RMAC West Division leader Adams State 63-56 on Friday at Alamosa.
We just heard that they won at Adams State (on Friday night)," said Kellogg, quick to remember that the Lopers (2-5
overall, 2-1 RMAC) have been to the NCAA tournament the last three years.