Skyhawks fly past northern New Mexico – The Durango Herald

Fort Lewis College remains undefeated with a win of 88-63

Fort Lewis College’s Junior Garbrah drives to the basket on Friday night while he plays Northern New Mexico at FLC. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

The Fort Lewis College men’s basketball team took a 10-0 lead, built it up to 20-2 and never looked back on Friday night against Northern New Mexico College. The Skyhawks eventually defeated the Eagles 88-63 and improved to 3-0 overall. Northern New Mexico slipped to 2-6.

The game was FLC’s home opener and was also part of the Nike N7 Games and Skyhawks Hardwood Classic. FLC was scheduled to play Texas Permian Basin in the Hardwood Classic at 5 p.m. Saturday when this newspaper went to press.

“It’s so nice to finally be home in Whalen,” said FLC head coach Bob Pietrack. “We have such an amazing little college basketball environment to compete in. Thanks to Northern New Mexico, they are an institution of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) and played hard tonight. I think our guys did an excellent job setting the defensive tone early on and putting us in a strong position to win. With tonight’s Nike N7 games, I also want to express how proud our program is to be one of only 11 institutions across the country participating in the event. These guys are proud to wear turquoise jerseys. So many of their friends, extended families, classmates, and other Skyhawks are from Native American backgrounds and communities. To be able to represent everyone in our community and across the country is a special honor.”

The FLC men’s and women’s teams both wore turquoise Nike N7 uniforms during their games on Friday, as the color represents harmony, friendship and camaraderie in Native American culture.

Akuel Kot scored 15 points in the first half and finished on 19 to lead FLC. Kot and Brendan La Rose both had 3 points early while Brenden Boatwright knocked down two field goals to set off the team’s first 10-0 run.

After Northern New Mexico got on the scoreboard with a jumper, Junior Garbrah knocked down a 3-pointer and then Kot did the same.

FLC took a 46-22 lead after a layup by Sekou Dembele at 46-22, eventually going into halftime at 50-27.

Fort Lewis College’s Brendan La Rose (left) and Akuel Kot play a tough defense against Northern New Mexico at FLC on Friday night. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

The Skyhawks extended their lead early in the second half. Dunnell Stafford hit a jumper in the paint and then Kot hit a jumper to put FLC at 27, 54-27.

FLC maintained a lead of 20 points or more the rest of the way. The Skyhawks went 79-51 on a 10-2 run. Obi Agbim sank a knight and then made two free throws. The Eagles then got a bucket, but Trevor Trost responded with a pair of 3 points to give FLC a 28-point lead.

Trost and Garbrah both finished with 11 points for FLC. Brendan La Rose and Agbim each scored 10 points. Dembele had 9 points, along with 12 rebounds, and Boatwright had 8 in the 88-63 win.

Jamal Harris led Northern New Mexico with 14 points and 4 steals. Guillem Garcia scored 12 and Conner Kelly added 10.

Kot is now averaging 23.3 points per game, third-most in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Dembele is averaging 7.5 rebounds per game, also among conference leaders, while the team sits second in the RMAC with an average of 83.7 points per game.

The Skyhawks are also second in the RMAC in 3-point field goals, shooting 41.5% as a team and second in turnover margin with a +4.67 mark.

Fort Lewis College’s Ra’Shjon Martinez plays against Northern New Mexico on Friday night in the FLC. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Fort Lewis College’s Sekou Dembele is looking for a shot while playing against Northern New Mexico at FLC on Friday night. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Fort Lewis College’s Akuel Kot puts down a 3-point shot while playing against Northern New Mexico at FLC on Friday night. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Fort Lewis College’s Obi Agbim steals the ball as he plays Northern New Mexico at FLC on Friday night. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Fort Lewis College’s Junior Garbrah comes under his defender Friday night as he plays Northern New Mexico at FLC. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Fort Lewis College’s Akuel Kot fires a shot Friday night while playing against Northern New Mexico at FLC. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Fort Lewis College’s Brenden Boatwright fires a shot while playing against Northern New Mexico at FLC on Friday night. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Fort Lewis College’s JaQuaylon Mays puts in a 3-point shot while playing against Northern New Mexico at FLC on Friday night. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Fort Lewis College’s Obi Agbim looks to pass the ball inside while playing against Northern New Mexico at FLC on Friday night. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

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