The number two-seeded Regis University Rangers (26-5) defeated the number one-seeded Fort Lewis College Skyhawks (24-6) by a score of 88-80 on Saturday night, March 3, in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament championship game at Whalen Gymnasium.
This is Regis’ first RMAC Tournament Championship title in program history. This was also their 14th consecutive win.
Regis also ends Fort Lewis’ undefeated home season at 16-1 and pushes FLC’s home record to 46-2 in the past three years. This was Fort Lewis’ third consecutive year in the championship game. They lost last year to the Colorado School of Mines Orediggers in overtime 102-98 and beat Mines 73-72 in the 2015-16 season
“Four years in the RMAC it’s always been a challenge coming here,” Ty McGee, senior forward for Regis, said. “They always pack the place. They always got great fans. The whole town seems to come out. It’s loud.”
Pietrack made it clear after the game that this loss will not define the season. There is plenty of basketball to be played, he said.
“We’ll get back to practice on Monday and look forward to the real season, which is the NCAA Regional, and see if we can make a run at the regional,” Bob Pietrack, FLC head coach, said.
Jarrett Brodbeck left his mark on the championship game, scoring a game-high 27 points off 7/16 from the field with five made three-pointers and going 8/8 from the free throw line. McGee dropped 21 points off 8/14 shooting.
Regis junior guard Avonte Nelms was one rebound shy of a double-double grabbing nine rebounds and scoring 13 points. Regis had four players in double-digit figures with Christian Little adding 17 points as well.
RMAC Defensive Player of the Year, Dexter Sienko, was held to six points, two defensive rebounds, three blocks, and one steal before he ran into early foul trouble. Sienko picked up two fouls before halftime so his coach pulled him out to save him for the second half. Sienko ended up fouling out with 3:05 left in the game.
FLC also had four players in double figures. Senior guard DJ Miles had a team-high 20 points off of 7/16 shooting with 3 made three-pointers. Junior forward Marquel Beasley had a 17 point and 10 rebound night for the only double-double of the game. Senior center Brandon Wilson added 16 points and nine rebounds and senior forward Rasmus Bach added 14 points with eight rebounds.
“It was just pretty much just doing anything I could do to help my team out,” Beasley said. “I was just trying to respond to Regis’ tough buckets and just trying to find a way to stay involved on the court.”
Fort Lewis had five bench points and were 14/25 from the free throw line compared to Regis’ 25 bench points and being 18/24 from the line.
There were two technical fouls handed out in this game. Alex Semadeni received one with 11:41 left in the second half and Little received one for Regis with 4:37 remaining.
The All-Tournament team was announced after the game. Brandon Sly of Adams State University, and Beasley of FLC, and Ty McGee, Christian Little and of Regis University were all named to the All-Tournament team with Brodbeck taking home the Most Valuable Player honors.