Last time out in 2008, the light switch switched on.First time out in 2009, the light switch switched off.
It wasn't the 13th-ranked Skyhawks' prettiest effort to date, but it was a 23-point victory in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference nonetheless.
"That wasn't even close to where we needed to be," Fort Lewis College women's basketball coach Mark Kellogg said of his team's energy Friday night against UC-Colorado Springs in an 83-60 victory at Whalen Gymnasium.
"Maybe it was the layoff, but you can't use that as an excuse. We just weren't ready to play."
Neither was UCCS, apparently.
The road team took its travel plans literally - seven traveling violations and 19 turnovers in the first half. The Mountain Lions, which started with turnovers on their first three possessions, didn't take their first shot until 2½ minutes into the game.
Midway through the first half, Fort Lewis built a 23-6 advantage on 12 UCCS turnovers.
"We forced some turnovers and got some easy looks," Kellogg said, insinuating the "but" yet to come at the end of his sentence.
Fort Lewis shot 48 percent from the field in the first half and 57 percent from the field in the second. The 14th-ranked team in the nation in field goal percentage, FLC shot 53 percent from the field for the game.
"That's not the gripe," Kellogg said, finishing his thought. "We're a good shooting team. It's the fouls, the laziness, not knowing where we're at on defense; they've got girls subbing in, and we're not picking them up. As coaches, we're telling them who they have to guard."
UCCS finished the first half with an 8-4 run to trim Fort Lewis' lead to 37-20. Half of the Lions' points came from the free throw line.
"Intensity, emotion, effort - those are the things that need to be there every night," Kellogg said.
"Who is going to be the leader on this team? We don't know who's going to step up, but they should know."
Allison Rosel had 15 points and eight rebounds to lead the Skyhawks. Katie Mackey had 14 points, and Audrey George had 11 points as the only Skyhawks in double digits.
"We coast, and we coast, we don't get better, and then we lose three of the last four games down the stretch," Kellogg said, referring to last season's finish.
"We can't let that happen again. We are a better team than last year."
Fort Lewis, which upset fourth-ranked West Texas A&M its last time out, improved to 12-1 overall and 5-0 in conference play.
"It's the light switch," Kellogg said. "We can't just turn it on and off like this. We can't choose to play against the No. 4 team in the nation, and then not choose to play against a conference opponent."