Bieri leads Skyhawks to 77-64 win over UT-Permian Basin
by Chris Day
ALAMOSA, Colo.— Tournament Most Valuable Player Tim Bieri scored a game-high 23 points while grabbing a game-best eight rebounds to lead the Fort Lewis College Skyhawks to a comfortable 77-64 win over the University of Texas-Permian Basin Falcons in the third game of the Town & Country Cool Sunshine Classic on Saturday night in Adams State College’s Plachy Hall. The victory allowed the Skyhawks to finish the weekend as the only team with an unblemished 2-0 record.
The Falcons, led by 17 points from All-Tournament Team pick Nedrie Simmons, slipped to 1-1.
Fort Lewis’ Devon Manning and Ryan Johnson, also an All-Tournament Team selection, were both in double figures. Johnson was 5 of 8 from the field and 3-for-4 from beyond the arc while scoring 16 points. Manning hit 5 of 11 from the floor finishing the night with 15.
The Skyhawks shot a respectable 45.2 percent (28 of 62) throughout the night and canned nine treys, the biggest difference of the game. Bieri made four of those long distance calls and was a solid 8 of 13 from the field. He also had four steals and a couple of blocked shots defensively.
The Skyhwaks, picked to win the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s West Division, built a 10-point lead in the first eight minutes of the game extending that lead to as much as 14 on a Manning layup at the 7:19 mark of the first half.
Leading 37-29 at the break, the Skyhawks outscored the Falcons by an 11-4 count in the first 4:07 of the second stanza.
Texas-Permian Basin tried to recover but could only close within seven the rest of the way. The Falcons shot 39.3 percent (24 of 61) from the field but were just 3 of 13 (23.1 percent) from 3-point territory. They also committed 16 turnovers, which turned into 23 Fort Lewis points.