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Skyhawks basketball returns home Friday night

Both the men’s and women’s teams will play in Whalen Gymnasium Friday
Obi Agbim of Fort Lewis College puts up a shot while playing Colorado Mesa University last season at FLC. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

After starting the season on the road, Fort Lewis basketball hopes to treat its fans to some sweet home cooking on Friday.

The women’s team, which lost its first two matchups on the road, looks to get its first win of the season hosting Northern New Mexico on Friday, starting at 3 p.m. The men’s team, fresh off its first victory, will follow suit at 5 p.m. to take on Western New Mexico.

The Fort Lewis women are struggling to shoot the ball so far this season, shooting 35% from the field and 19% from 3-point range.

“About half of them are just open shots that just kind of didn't go in,” Skyhawks women’s coach Taylor Harris said. “We kind of have this belief that if you defend the right way, and if you play hard, then you're going to kind of be rewarded with those open shots going in. I don't think we defend it at our highest ability over the weekend.”

The Skyhawks are also tied for 270th in the country out of 283 teams with 26.5 turnovers per game.

“We just wanted to have a really big focus this week on making sure that offensively we're not playing too fast,” Harris said. “Sometimes we were playing too fast and shots are rushed, whether it's the mechanics or whether it's where it is in the shot clock, and I think we've done a really good job of refocusing on being precise with offense.”

Northern New Mexico is currently 3-1 on the season and look like a good bounce-back opportunity for Fort Lewis. The Skyhawks are 12-0 all-time against the Eagles, including an 80-70 win last season.

Fort Lewis has been successful at causing turnovers in its 2-3 zone. The Skyhawks have caused 25 turnovers per game so far this season. Harris expects Northern New Mexico to shoot a lot 3-pointers against the 2-3 zone.

Senior forward Kelsey Sorenson has led the way with 16 points per game. Harris expects Sorenson to be able to continue to produce as defenses hone in on sophomore guard Lanae Billy.

The men’s team shot a combined 40% from the field and 45% from 3-point range in their first two games against Angelo State and Eastern New Mexico, respectively. Fort Lewis has been good on the boards, outrebounding its opponents by 6.5 rebounds per game.

A well-balanced offensive attack has propelled the Skyhawks offense. Five players are averaging between 7.5 and 15 points per game so far. Junior guard Obi Agbim is averaging 15 points per game on 35% shooting. Junior forward Brayden Carter has been efficient, averaging 12.5 points and 9.5 rebounds on 64% shooting from the field.

Western New Mexico is 0-2 after losses to Westminister University and Adams State University.


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