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Skyhawks upset No. 5/6 Mines in Golden

FLC men score program’s first top-10 road win
Akuel Kot of Fort Lewis College knocks down a 3-pointer while playing the Colorado School of Mines on Friday in Golden. (Hayden Mangan/FLC Athletics)

Akuel Kot paved the way with 34 points, JaQuaylon Mays supplied an additional 15, Obi Agbim had 13 and Brenden Boatwright scored 11 as elite shooting lifted the 17th-ranked Fort Lewis College men's basketball team past No. 5 Colorado School of Mines in a hostile Lockridge Arena on Friday in Golden, 93-87.

Fort Lewis advanced to 17-2 overall and 11-2 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play with its first win over a top-10 opponent on the road in program history. Mines fell to 18-2, 12-2.

“That was a signature win for our program this season,” Fort Lewis College Head Coach Bob Pietrack said. “We played one of the very best teams in the country tonight, and I can't compliment Mines enough and just how good they are. That was about as good as we can play offensively. We were patient, shot it very well, made our free throws, and kept it to seven turnovers in a tough environment.”

It was an offensive showdown from the opening tip as the Skyhawks outshot Mines from the field 53.8% to 50.7%.

A hook shot from Boatwright gave Fort Lewis an early 23-19 advantage. The Orediggers recaptured the lead and stretched it to as many as eight points, 31-23, following a turnaround jumper from Adam Krasovec.

Kot tallied 18 of his 34 points in the opening half as the Skyhawks went shot-for-shot with the Orediggers. After six lead changes and back-to-back scores by Mines, a layup from Adam Thistlewood with three seconds remaining put the home team on top at halftime 44-43.

The Orediggers had the favored home crowd behind them, but Fort Lewis would not falter. Scoring the opening bucket of the second half, the Skyhawks had an answer for everything Mines threw at them. A step-back jump shot from Kot gave FLC a 10-point lead, 58-48.

Mines demonstrated how it earned its No. 5 ranking, and a turnaround jump shot from Kai Barr cut FLC’s lead to a single-digit, 67-66.

Fort Lewis was unfazed, however, and went on a 13-5 run to extend its lead to 80-71 with just over three minutes remaining.

The Orediggers made four-straight baskets to close it out, but FLC made 11 of its final 12 shots to hold them off and put an end to their nine-game winning streak.

“Credit to Mines once again, tonight was a battle of two really good basketball teams, but the ball bounced our way enough to come out on top,” Pietrack added.

Kot finished the night 11-17 from the floor, 2-5 from beyond the arc, and a perfect 10-10 at the free throw line to lead all scorers with 34 points. Mays just missed his second double-double of the season with eight rebounds to pair with his 15 points.

Mines finished with five individuals in double figures led by Krasovec with 16.

FLC women fall to No. 14/22 Mines

The Fort Lewis College women's basketball team had 11 players record points in a 74-45 road loss to No. 14/22 Colorado School of Mines on Friday.

Junior Kelsey Sorenson led the team with her fourth double-double of the season, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Freshman Lanae Billy followed with eight points, three rebounds and two assists. Sophomore Sadie Misner tallied five points to go along with four rebounds.

Fort Lewis dropped to 7-12 on the year and 4-9 in the RMAC while Mines improved to 16-3 and 12-2 to lead the league.

The Skyhawks are also scheduled to play at Metropolitan State University Denver tonight (Jan. 28). The women tip off at 3:30 p.m. while the men, who will be televised on KWGN-Channel 2, will begin at 6 p.m.