By JAIME HERNANDEZ
Pima Community College’s men’s basketball team is looking to build on a two-game winning streak as the playoffs draw closer.
The Aztecs defeated Chandler-Gilbert 99-88 on Jan. 25, sweeping the season series.
The win improved Pima’s record to 11-11, with a 6-8 conference record.
Freshman Murphy Gershman led the way with 23 points and eight rebounds. Freshman Matt O’Boyle added 15 points for the Aztecs, while sophomore Shakir Smith had another 30-point night.
The win puts the Aztecs one step closer to making the conference tournament. They are in a dogfight for the last spot.
Pima snapped its four-game losing streak on Jan. 22 with a win over Central Arizona, 81-76.
Four players scored in double figures, with Gershman and Smith leading the way with 20 points apiece.
O’Boyle added 17 points, while freshman Andres Marquez scored 10 coming off the bench.
Head coach Brian Peabody was pleased with the team’s effort.
“We had to go back to the drawing board,” Peabody said. “We started it at practice. I wanted to make them as competitive as we could get them.”
Peabody hopes to instill a sense of urgency with his team, since there’s only 10 games left in the season.
He feels the Aztecs need to win at least five or six to make the playoffs.
Pima fell to Eastern Arizona College 88-69 on Jan. 18, their fourth loss in a row.
With the win, Eastern was able to avenge its 99-96 loss to the Aztecs last November.
With a little over six minutes left in the game, Pima had a 84-77 lead but Glendale went on a 8-0 run to go up 84-85.
They later hit two three-pointers to take a 93-90 lead and never looked back.
Smith led the way for Pima with 26 points.
Pima fell to Glendale Community College 105-103 on Jan. 15.
The Aztecs led most of the way but failed to close the game out.
Smith finished the game with 36 points and five assist, while Gershman had his 12th double-double of the season with 32 points and 15 rebounds performance.
The Arizona Community College Athletic Conference named Smith its Division II Player of the Week for Jan. 6-12.