After dropping four of its last five games, the Fort Lewis College men's basketball team was hoping that some home
cooking would be just the elixir to begin a strong finish to the regular season.
So far, so good.
The Skyhawks opened up an 18-point halftime lead, then held the lead throughout a foul-marred second half to top
Western State 84-70 on Saturday at Whalen Gymnasium.
Despite the sizeable halftime deficit, the Mountaineers were able to chip away at the FLC lead, trimming the score to
62-56 with 9:54 remaining, paced by leading scorer Troy McCoy, who scored 16 points for the game, and had 10 during
Western State's run at the lead.
However, the Skyhawks would go on a 11-3 run over the next two minutes, with Matt Billups' six points as the catalyst,and Western State would get no closer than 10 the rest of the night.
Whenever you play Western State, it seems like going to the dentist's office," Fort Lewis coach Bob Hofman said. They
never give up and no matter what the score is, the game never feels comfortable."
A flood of Skyhawk fouls helped aid the comeback bid. Fort Lewis put the Mountaineers in the double-bonus with their
10th foul with 10:49 to go.
After shooting just 11 free throws combined in the first half, the two schools shot a total of 39 foul shots in the
Even with Western State's less-than-stellar record, FLC had a couple of notable names missing that made the outcome far
from predictable. With Matt Morris out with a broken right hand, and Kyle Behrens missing with a sinus infection, the
Skyhawks needed some lofty contributions from its remaining roster.
DeAndre Lansdowne led all players with 27 points. But perhaps the best effort of the night came from Daniel Steffensen,who scored 19 points, 10 in the first half, helping stake Fort Lewis to a big lead.
The Skyhakws, led by Steffensen, came out strong to start the game. FLC opened with a
15-3 run. Steffensen scored 10 of those first 15 points.
He took it to the glass really well," Hofman said. He's been solid for us all year, and we need it from him, night in
and night out, and he's been giving it to us."
Fort Lewis has another chance to get closer to the RMAC West Division lead tonight when they host first-place Mesa
Mesa State is 14-2 in the RMAC and ranked 15th in men's Division II basketball.
We need to play our very best game even to compete," Hofman said. It's going to be tough, but we're going to go out
and compete, and that's all we can do."