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Fort Lewis men start league play 2-1

FLC women still looking for first RMAC win
Akuel Kot of Fort Lewis College battles while playing University of the Southwest earlier this season. On Tuesday, Kot scored a season-high 24 points against Western Colorado. Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file

The Fort Lewis College men’s basketball team took down Western Colorado University on Tuesday 87-68 to improve to 2-1 in the RMAC and 6-3 overall.

Fort Lewis scuffled a bit out of the gate, trailing the Mountaineers (1-8 0-3 RMAC) 16-9 with 8:02 remaining in the first half. But sophomore guard Akuel Kot exploded for 15 of his 17 first-half points over the final 7:20 to help the Skyhawks take a 35-30 lead into the locker room.

Kot finished with a season-high 24 points.

Senior forward Riley Farris poured in a game-high 28 points – 20 points in the second half – and grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.

Redshirt junior forward Brenden Boatwright was the third Skyhawk in double figures with 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting as FLC chewed up the Western Colorado interior defense for 46 points in the paint.

Defensively, senior guard Corey Seng shined against Western Colorado sophomore guard Matthew Ragsdale, who scored a school-record 53 points Friday against Black Hills State.

Seng held Ragsdale to 15 points, nine of them in the game’s final 36 minutes, on 6-of-13 shooting and four turnovers.

On Saturday, FLC rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit to put itself in position to win against Black Hills State University. Unfortunately for the Skyhawks, Black Hills narrowly prevailed 83-81.

JacQuess Hobbs scored a career-high 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting while snagging eight rebounds. The Eastern Kentucky transfer gave FLC its last lead of the game at 72-70, and pulled the Skyhawks even with Black Hills at 81-81 with 43.7 ticks remaining after cashing in an and-1 opportunity.

Black Hills State answered on its ensuing possession when PJ Hayes finished off a feed from Tommy Donovan at the rim, giving the Yellow Jackets the lead at 83-81.

Will Wittman scored 13 points and had a season-high 10 rebounds to earn his first career double-double. Kot scored 15, Brenden Boatwright added 10, and Farris scored eight.

The Skyhawks began their conference season by rolling to a convincing 87-63 road win over Chadron State College on Friday.

FLC never trailed in the game, and 12 Skyhawks scored. Farris scored a game-high 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double. Boatwright scored 15, and Kot added 10 for FLC.

FLC jumped out to a 12-2 lead to start the game and extended it to 44-12 later in the first half.

FLC women start RMAC 0-3

The Fort Lewis College women’s basketball team is still looking for its first conference win. FLC fell to Chadron 72-49, Black Hills State 66-38, and Western Colorado 59-56 in a back-and-forth affair Tuesday. FLC is now 0-3, 1-8 overall.

The game against the Mountaineers was tight start to finish, with three quarters decided by one or two points.

Both teams drained buckets to start the third quarter as a pair of free throws from Sydney Candelaria put FLC ahead 37-36. Samantha Wattawa extended the lead to 39-36 with a driving layup.

The lead remained in the hands of FLC through much of the quarter, but a late burst by WCU tied it at 44-44 with 0:17 to go. Candelaria remained poised as time wound down, dropping in a pair of free throws to put FLC up 46-44 heading into the fourth.

Neither side found an offensive rhythm early in the final quarter. Candelaria continued to pester the opposition, putting up four points to keep the Skyhawks ahead with six minutes to play. The Mountaineers countered with a 3-pointer to tie the game at 52-52 with 4:17 to go. FLC’s offense found itself in a rut late in the quarter, relying on free throws to keep its hopes alive. WCU was doing much of the same, but the Mountaineers found the upper hand with the final two frees of the night to pull away for the win.

Up next

Both teams host Colorado Christian University at Whalen Gymnasium on Saturday. The women tip off at 5 p.m., and the men take the court at 7 p.m. Both CCU teams are 3-5, 0-2.