No. 8 Fort Lewis 82, CSU-Pueblo 68
The ThunderWolves gave No. 8 Fort Lewis a run, but not even a 22-point night by Rachel Espinoza (Jr., Pueblo, Colo.) could save the Pack, who fell 82-68 in a game that was much closer the score indicates.
The ThunderWolves controlled much of the first half, but saw its momentum taken away when a Fort Lewis three at the buzzer tied the game at 34 going into the break. CSU-Pueblo extended the lead in the back and forth affair to 44-42 at the 14:21 mark.
But Fort Lewis responded with a hot hand, going on a 10-8 run to build a 52-44 lead. CSU-Pueblo responded with an 8-2 run, banking on five points by Espinoza during the advance, to get within two, 54-52.
The ThunderWolves couldn't take the lead at that point, but managed to stay within a possession of tying until the closing minutes. Fort Lewis scored 19 of the game's final 24 points to pull away from the Pack and claim the 14-point win.
Statistically, the game was virtually a dead heat - the two teams virtually matched each other in turnovers, rebounds and steals. But the Pack's 41 percent shot percentage, compared to 58 percent by Fort Lewis, and 21 assists by the Skyhawks proved to the difference.
The loss marks the Pack's third straight in Durango and halts CSU-Pueblo's five-game win streak. The Skyhawks are now all alone atop the RMAC West Division standings, a game ahead of CSU-Pueblo, now 8-2 in conference play.
The ThunderWolves have another big one Saturday night, travelling to Alamosa to take on Adams State.