By CASEY MUSE JR
The Pima Community College men’s basketball team (7-3, 2-1 in ACCAS) won two important conference games on Nov. 30 and Dec. 3, continuing to make strides toward improvement after losing its conference opener on Nov. 22.
Every game is critical for the Aztecs as they prepare for some time off during winter break.
A Dec. 7 game against Eastern Arizona Community College took place after the Aztec Press went to the printer.
Pima next plays South Mountain Community College in Phoenix on Dec. 10 at 4 p.m.
Nov. 22: PCC 82, Tohono O’ Odham 85
Pima played a close game but was unable to come away with the win in its first ACCAC conference contest. PCC fell at home 85-82 to Tohono O’ Odham Community College.
The Aztecs kept it close most of the contest but allowed a late 9-2 run by Tohono O’ Odham that sealed the win.
Freshman Isaiah Murphy finished the game with a team-high 25 points, shooting 10-for-12 from the free throw line in the process. Sophomore Deion James was next up with 19 points and nine rebounds.
Sophomore Emilio Acedo scored 16 points, all in the second half, and sophomore Zach Evans rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points.
Nov. 30: PCC 91, Chandler-Gilbert CC 76
The Aztecs battled on the road to earn their first ACCAC conference win of the season, a 91-76 victory over Chandler-Gilbert Community College.
Pima was in control the entire game. The team took a 48-33 lead into the halftime break and maintained the double-digit lead through the entire second half.
Sophomore Deion James led the team in scoring with 17 points. Three other Aztecs also scored in double figures. Sophomore Damon Dubots had 16 points, Acedo scored 15 points and freshman Alize Travis had 12 points.
“We are very focused right now,” Travis said. “This is conference play now, so we are all locked in. Coach has been preaching trust and effort, so we have been trying to be as selfless as possible every time we touch the floor.”
Dec. 3: PCC 108, Glendale CC 96
Pima played another complete game to secure a 108-96 conference victory over Glendale Community College.
The Aztecs controlled the first half and led 56-42 at the break.
Glendale found life in the second half, and steadily cut into the lead. The closest it got was a 95-90 Pima lead with 6:09 left in the game. The Aztecs came together for one final surge and put the game away.
Sophomores Jacob Anastasi and Deion James led the team on an 11-0 run down the stretch to secure the lead and victory. Anastasi finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds while James earned 17 points.
Acedo was the overall leading scorer for the game, with 25 points. Murphy earned a double-double off the bench with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
“It is all about playing together and executing,” sophomore Zach Evans said about the two wins.
Dec. 10: at South Mountain Community College, Phoenix, 4 p.m.