The Fort Lewis College women’s basketball team hosted the No. 2 team in the league Friday – CSU Pueblo – and seemed poised to upset the Thunderwolves.
The Skyhawks led by as many as 15 points in the first half and took a 52-44 lead into the fourth quarter. CSU Pueblo, however, scored the first eight points of the fourth and 13 of the first 14 to take a 57-53 lead.
Late in the game, Brooke McGee grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on the putback for FLC. Sydney Candelaria then made a pair of free throws to cut CSU Pueblo’s lead to one basket, 63-61, with 1:15 left in the game.
After a missed Skyhawks shot, however, CSU Pueblo regained possession with 26 seconds left. FLC, which only had one team foul at that point, fouled four times to send CSU Pueblo to the line. CSU Pueblo’s JaNaiya Davis then made both free throws to seal her team’s victory, 65-61.
FLC is now 2-13 overall and 1-8 in the RMAC. CSU Pueblo improved to 14-4, 10-2.
CSU Pueblo hit a 3-pointer to start the game but didn’t lead again until the fourth quarter. Alyssa Adams made a pair of free throws and later drained a trey that put FLC up 7-5. Jana Conejero made a long two, Kelsey Sorenson hit a pair of shots, Candelaria made two field goals and six free throws, and FLC led 23-12 after one.
Candelaria and Adams both sank 3-pointers to start the second and give FLC its biggest lead of the game, 29-14. CSU Pueblo cut the lead to six, 35-29, but a deep 3-pointer from Candelaria put FLC up 38-29 at the half. Alisha Davis scored CSU Pueblo’s final 11 points of the half to keep FLC from pulling away.
To start the third, CSU Pueblo went on a 7-0 run to cut FLC’s lead to 38-36. McGee, however, drained a three to give Fort Lewis some momentum. Candelaria then stole a pass and took it coast to coast for bucket, but was hurt late in the quarter and left play to recover. With Candelaria on the bench, Ember Cervantes and Adams made some late buckets to help FLC take a 52-44 lead into the fourth.
After CSU Pueblo went on a big run to start the fourth, FLC fought back and kept the game close, but never retook the lead after Ro Dominguez 3-pointer gave CSU Pueblo a 55-53 lead.
Candelaria began the game as the leading women’s scorer in the RMAC, averaging 19.3 points per game. She scored 27 Friday, including 18 in the first half. Adams scored 10, McGee scored seven, Sorenson added six, Conejero and Piper Terry both scored four, Cervantes scored two and Ava Strange added one.
McGee also grabbed 10 rebounds while Candelaria and Adams each stole a pair of balls.
Davis scored 16 to lead the Thunderwolves.
CSU Pueblo ended FLC’s three-game winning streak against the Thunderwolves with its win Friday and now leads the series 13-9 all-time.
FLC will be back in Whalen at 5 p.m. Saturday to play Adams State University (5-8, 3-5). The teams split last season’s two games, but FLC leads the all-time series 20-5. Adams also has one player from Durango on its roster, 5-11 junior Tayler Dossey.