The game tipped off and then it was pretty much over for the CSU-Pueblo ThunderWolves in Durango on Saturday night as they were routed by the Fort Lewis College Skyhawks, 95-61.
The win pushed the Skyhawks to a 19-3 record on the season and a 15-2 record in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. FLC is also 13-0 at home now after the victory and maintains a one game RMAC lead over the second-ranked Westminster.
“Before the game, we just really talked about energy and if we came out with energy they wouldn’t really be able to match it,” senior Daniel Hernandez said. “We knew they were going to be tired from last night’s game, so the energy we came out with is what got them I think.”
Pueblo took the lead early on in the game, going up 5-3, but then a 14-3 run the Skyhawks put them ahead and they never looked back.
By halftime, the lead had exploded to 16 points, 52-36.
“We were just laser-focused and ready to play,” Skyhawk head coach Bob Pietrack said. “We knew what the challenge ahead of us was and we were just ready to play.”
The second half was more of the same and the Skyhawks started having some fun. Junior transfer Marquel Beasley put down an earth-shattering alley-oop off the backboard from Hernandez with just over 16 minutes left in the game. The next possession, Beasley got the steal and went coast-to-coast to make the lead 26 with a score of 64-38.
“I was just trying to keep the energy going in the building and set a high pace so they don’t get back in the game and it worked out,” Beasley said.
When the final buzzer sounded, the Nest was rocking at Whalen and the hometown Skyhawks had silenced the ThunderWolves with a huge victory.
The Skyhawks shot an incredible 60.3% from the field and 57% from behind the arc. Hernandez finished with 19 on 24 minutes of action, senior DJ Miles had 18 on just seven shots, and Beasley put in 14 in just 22 minutes.
“We were just getting the ball reversed and opening things up,” Hernandez said. “We made the right plays today. We are learning how to play a lot better together and starting to move the ball around better.”
Overall, five FLC players were in double digits with sophomore Riley Ferris chipping in for 16 and senior Brandon Wilson scoring 13
“I think we are starting to peak,” senior Rasmus Bach said. “The chemistry is finally starting to show and I think you can see that from last night and tonight. We are making the the game a little easier for each other and that is really nice to see.
The victory was significant in for more reasons than just the RMAC prowess though. The win gave Bach his 93rd win as a member of the program, making him the winningest player in school history.
“The program means the world to me,” Bach said. “I didn’t have really any offers coming out of high school so for my career to pan out the way it has, it’s just truly a blessing. In terms being the winningest player in program history, I don’t think right now I can really reflect on it. I think once I get older I’ll really start to appreciate it but I definitely didn’t do this alone. Ever since Chief [Alex Herrera] has been here, that’s when I started racking up the wins so, it’s great to have my name up there but I am definitely not alone.”
“I am going to enjoy this and celebrate Rasmus being the all-time winningest Fort Lewis player,” Pietrack said. “In our program, we don't celebrate individual accomplishments too often, but this one is special."
FLC will now be on the road for their next four games before coming back home to play Westminster,on the 24th. That game, if the two teams hold serve until then, will most likely be for the RMAC regular season title.