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Fort Lewis women’s basketball coasts past Western Colorado in RMAC opener

Four players finished in double figures
Lanae Billy of Fort Lewis College drives to the basket on Nov. 17 while playing Northern New Mexico College at FLC. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

The Fort Lewis basketball team opened up Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play with an efficient overall effort on Saturday, winning 68-47 at Western Colorado.

The Skyhawks improved to 4-3 and 1-0 in the RMAC. It’s the first four-game winning streak in the Taylor Harris era and the first four-game winning streak since the 2019-20 season.

Western Colorado fell to 1-5 overall, 1-2 in the RMAC.

“We really wanted to focus on being positive and the stats really showed,” Skyhawks associate head coach Kylie Lorenzen said. “We had four players in double digits offensively, and we started forcing a lot more turnovers on defense in that second half. We really pride ourselves on having our defense flow into our offense. I was really quite proud of our girls and the energy we had.”

The Skyhawks had their best shooting game of the season, as they shot 49% from the field and 56% from 3-point range. The Mountaineers shot 33% from the field and 19% from beyond the arc. Western Colorado also turned the ball over 18 times.

Sophomore guard Lanae Billy led Fort Lewis with 19 points on 6 of 12 shooting overall and 3 of 3 shooting from beyond the arc. Redshirt junior Lilly Pepper had another stellar game off the bench, tallying 14 points on 5 of 7 shooting from the field. Junior guard Avery Evans and finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

“Everybody has the highest faith in Lanae, and we all know she’s one of the best scorers in the nation,” Lorenzen said. “So when Lanae plays like we know she can, it’s good for her confidence. It gets the entire team hyped and it's really exciting.”

Forward Rachel Cockman led Western Colorado with 12 points on 4 of 10 shooting overall. Guard Jayda Maves finished with 11 points on 4 of 13 shooting from the field, including 2 of 10 shooting from 3-point range.

The Skyhawks trailed 13-8 after the first quarter, shooting just 22% from the floor after the opening frame. However, quickly got back on track with a 21-11 second-quarter run, shooting 62% from the field during that stretch.

In the second half, the Skyhawks kept shooting the ball well – shooting 52% from the field – and outscored the Mountaineers 39-23 in that span.

Fort Lewis returns to Whalen Gymnasium to face Adams State at 5 p.m. Tuesday.


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