While their first two scheduled games were canceled, because Black Hills State and Chadron State couldn’t make it due to COVID-19 concerns, the Western Colorado University men’s basketball team was able to get in back-to-back games against Fort Lewis College.
Unfortunately for the Mountaineers, the results were strikingly similar — losing to the Skyhawks 89-69 in an impromptu, non-league contest in Durando last Saturday and then again Tuesday, 87-65, in an official league game in Gunnison.
Western started cold Tuesday, falling behind 20-4 before fighting back to make it a 41-30 deficit at the half.
The Mountaineers used an 8-0 burst early in the second half highlighted by eight points — including two 3-pointers — from Jaelan McCloud to cut the Skyhawk lead to 51-44 with 15:23 remaining in the second half.
But that’s as close Western would get as Fort Lewis used its own 8-0 run to push the lead back to 15 points and would lead by double figures the rest of the way.
McCloud and Matthew Ragsdale led the team with 13 points apiece while Cole Sienknecht added 12 points and three assists. Jackson Ehrlin just missed his second double-double of the season with eight points and 11 rebounds while Avery Rembao had eight points, eight rebounds and a team-high four assists.
The Mountaineers travel to take on Metropolitan State University of Denver at 4 p.m. on Saturday.