|Posted February 1, 2008|
ThunderWolves lose hold against No. 11 Fort Lewis
PUEBLO, Colo. - The ThunderWolves thought they
had the right mindset entering Friday's game with 11th-ranked Fort
Lewis. The Pack had a good track record against the Skyhawks,
having won the last five meetings, but the Skyhawks circled the
wagons like a championship team as they downed the Pack 63-54.
The Pack overcame a treacherous first half in which they only shot 30 percent from the field to make a game out of it in the second half. The ThunderWolves turned a 38-30 halftime disadvantage into a tie ball game when they started a 10-2 run to begin the second half.
The game stayed neck-and-neck when the ThunderWolves finally took the lead at the 12-minute point. Mary Rehfeld converted a three-point play that gave the Pack a 45-44 lead.
Then the bottom fell out.
Responding well to adversity, Fort Lewis went in a 16-6 run that iced the game. After the ThunderWolves took the lead, they were only 4-for-16 throughout the rest of the game.
"We didn't do the things we had to do to put the nails in the coffin," ThunderWolves head coach Kip Drown said. "We had to continue to get better looks and take care of the basketball, because sooner or later [Fort Lewis] was going to make some shots."
Overall, the ThunderWolves did a decent job defensively against the Skyhawks. Fort Lewis came in as the top shooting team in the country (51 percent), but shot only 42 percent from the field in this game. In the second half, the Skyhawks were only 8-for-23 from the field, a .348 percentage.
But the Pack didn't do much offensively to counter their defense's performance. The ThunderWolves were consistently off on their shots, shooting just .317 in the game, their lowest output since they put up a .305 performance in a loss to Metro State Dec. 15.
"When a team is playing at the level Fort Lewis is playing, there is little room for error," Drown said. "They are a team that is going to take advantage and they did."
The loss denies the Pack an opportunity to close some ground between themselves and Fort Lewis, as well as distance themselves from the middle of the Pack in the RMAC Western Division. Instead, the ThunderWolves fall to 14-6 and 8-4 in the RMAC, leaving them virtually tied with Adams State and Mesa State (both 7-4 RMAC play). Tomorrow night's game with Mesa State now becomes a pivotal contest as far as positioning in the playoff race.