Fort Lewis men cruise

Skyhawks top Chadron; Black Hills next

The Fort Lewis College men’s basketball team made sure to start off the New Year happy.

Every Skyhawk scored at least two points Friday night as the Fort Lewis men built an early lead over Chadron State and kept on working.

They beat the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Eagles 85-61 in their first game since Dec. 17.

“Road games in the RMAC are so tough so any time you get a road win, it’s a good team win,” FLC associate head coach Bob Pietrack said.

In the rout, the Eagles held their lone statistical advantage in rebounds (40-30) – perhaps because when your hands are as hot as FLC’s were in Chadron, Neb., on Friday night, you don’t need many of them.

Big man Alex Herrera also got into some early foul trouble, Pietrack said, and that forced the Skyhawks into a smaller lineup.

“Anytime Alex isn’t in the game, it hurts our rebounding ... but we made some shots,” Pietrack said of the former Ignacio High School standout.

Through the victory, the Skyhawks shot 55 percent from the floor, including 46 percent of their 3-pointers, to go with 73 percent from the free-throw line.

That translated into a team-high 18 points for Nick Tomsick, who was 4 of 5 from beyond the arc.

“Nick Tomsick came out and was really confident from the 3-point line. It really bled through our team,” Pietrack said.

Marcus Ayala scored 16 off the bench. Jared Smith scored 10 to go with starter Alex Herrera’s 10 points.

“Smith really gave us a spark off the bench,” Pietrack said.

The Fort Lewis bench scored 41 points, and the Skyhawks led by as many as 28 points after a 46-32 halftime score.

The Skyhawks (8-1 overall, 5-1 RMAC) will continue their road trip with a game at Black Hill State at 7:30 p.m. today in Spearfish, S.D.