Friday's game between Fort Lewis College and New Mexico Highlands played out like an odd case of déjà vu.
Just like the Cowboys' victory Jan. 30 at Whalen Gymnasium, FLC staked Highlands to a big lead in the first half. But
unlike the last time the two teams met, this game contained no valiant comeback attempt from the Skyhawks.
Highlands, led by Roman Andrade's 34 points, kept the Skyhawks at bay in the second half to win at home
The Cowboys (15-7, 9-5 RMAC) spent most of the second half making timely shots and free throws to keep FLC
(16-6, 10-4) at arm's length. The Highlands' lead fluctuated between 18 and nine in the half, thanks in large part to
quality free throw shooting. The Cowboys were 29-for-31 from the line Friday.
That's tough to overcome," Skyhawks coach Bob Hofman said. They're a great team, and they were a step quicker than we
were all night long."
Highlands pulled ahead by 18, 81-63, on a Kelvin Franklin layup with less than eight minutes left. FLC's DeAndre
Landsdowne, who led the Skyhawks with 24 points, got it as close as 12 with 4:33 left, but that was as close as the
Skyhawks would get until hitting a late 3-pointer to create the final margin.
Landsdowne was involved in what may have been an early nail in the coffin for Fort Lewis. He attempted to block a
Highlands' shot from behind, but was whistled for a foul, his third, with 15:35 to go. According to Hofman, as he was
walking away from the officials, Landsdowne threw his hands in the air, drawing a technical foul, which counted as his
The Cowboys would convert all three free throws and score on the ensuing possession to take a 64-48 lead.
Landsdowne's coach said he wasn't sure the technical was warranted.
He walked away from the referees and raised his hands up," Hofman said. I think the ref thought he was being shown
up, but he wasn't. It's just the way it goes."
After the loss, FLC sits in the middle of a struggle for the No. 2 spot in the RMAC West Division behind Mesa State.
Highlands, the preseason favorite, sits only a game back of the Skyhawks, and tonight's opponent, CSU-Pueblo, sits just
two back after beating Adams State on Friday. Despite the logjam, Hofman said he's not placing any extra importance on
tonight's game, set to tip at 8 p.m.
I don't like to look at that type of situation as more important," he said.
They're all big games right now. It's nice to know as a team we still have big games left to play. We just need to
rise to the occasion."