By James Kelley
Photo by Daniel Gaona
The Pima Community College basketball teams capped their landmark season on March 31, as the Aztecs extended the University of Arizona basketball teams’ misery.
The Pima men’s team beat the UA men and the PCC women beat the Arizona ladies in a charity game held to benefit victims of the Arizona state budget cuts. A $10 donation can be made by texting the word “ARIZONA” to 90999.
The doubleheader, even though the games started at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to accommodate the UA’s “experienced” fans, set a state record for a attendance for a charity game with 1,533.
The Aztec men built an early lead and cruised to a 98-87 win over the Wildcats. The loss is especially disappointing for the UA as they pushed for the game after not getting invited to the Not Invited Tournament or NIT.
“Hey, it could be worse, we could have lost to Jacksonville, at home, as a No. 1 seed,” said UA men’s head coach Sean Miller, referencing Arizona State’s embarrassing NIT loss. “I mean seriously, who even knew they had a team or a University?”
Aztec sophomore forward Travares Peterson scored a game-high 23 points, while Pima sophomore guards Warren Baker and Jeremy Harden scored 20 and 19 points, respectively.
“It’s a great win for Pima and it showed Tucson basketball didn’t go anywhere this year,” Peterson said.
Wildcat freshman forward Derrick Williams scored 20 to go with 12 rebounds, but was only 4-16 from the free throw stripe. Senior guard Nic Wise scored 17 points and dished 11 assists.
Arizona pulled to within six points with 5:34 to go, but then UA junior forward Jamelle Horne mistakenly dunked on the wrong basket, the Pacific-10 referees erroneously gave Pima the ball and then Miller received a technical foul. That series of plays ended the game quicker than the Kansas City Royals are out of contention.
Horne was not made available for comment after the game, instead the UA sent out freshman walk on Max Wiepking.
“Horney has the worst luck,” Wiepking said. “First he had that foul last year against UAB, repeated it at USC, then he picked Kansas to go all the way and now this.”
The women’s game lacked excitement as Pima cruised to a 56-41 win, even without injured star sophomore Abyee Maracigan. In fact, the Aztecs played much of the game with only four players to make the game more even.
PCC sophomore center Tia Morrison had a game-high 31 points and 19 rebounds. Pima sophomore and freshman guards Nene Villalobos and Patricia Ramos scored 12 points each.
“It was a good win for us,” Morrison said. “It was awesome to be out there with the girls one last time before the home crowd and you always want to win, whether it is South Central Arizona or Arizona Arizona.”
UA freshman guard Davellyn Whyte led the Wildcats in scoring with 23 points and UA junior forward Ify Ibekwe added 20.
“It was a great win for Pima, it shows we are the Real Deal,” said Pima women’s head coach Todd Holthaus. “The girls went out there and gave it their all and we came out on top.”