By CHRISTIAN MORTENSEN
It has been a great start to the year for the Pima Community College men’s basketball team as the Aztecs have opened their 2017-2018 season 6-1 in their first seven games and already have picked up a win against a Top 10 team, when they beat Odessa College on Nov. 17.
Pima is scoring 110 points per game this season and is shooting an overall 48 percent from the field. Freshman Abram Carrasco has been a huge part of the team’s early success and is leading the Aztecs in scoring with just over 18 points per game.
Sophomore guard Isaiah Murphy has also played a major role for the Aztecs and was named Player of the Week Nov. 13 by the Arizona Community College Athletics Conference.
Dec. 2: Pima CC 113,
Glendale CC 91
Pima got back on track after their loss to Chandler-Gilbert CC when they defeated Glendale CC 113-91 at the West Campus Gym.
It was a dominant win for the Aztecs who improved to 6-1 overall and 2-1 in the conference with the result. Freshman Robert Wilson led the way for Pima as he dropped 23 points on 9-13 shooting. Biggs played a big part of the win again for the Aztecs and had 22 points, including 17 in the first half.
Nov. 28: Pima CC 94,
Chandler-Gilbert CC 98
The Aztecs lost for the first time this season when they were defeated by the Chandler-Gilbert Coyotes 98-94 in overtime.
It was a back-and-forth affair the entire night, as the game featured 16 lead changes and 12 ties.
Pima led by 6 with just under a minute left in regulation before Chandler-Gilbert went on a 6-0 run to tie it with 36 seconds left. The Aztecs had two chances to win the game on the last shot before overtime but Murphy couldn’t convert his putback attempt from a missed Biggs jumpshot. Chandler-Gilbert went on a 9-0 run to start the overtime period and Pima never recovered to drop to 5-1 overall on the season and 1-1 in conference play. Chandler-Gilbert improved to an impressive 6-0 overall.
The Aztecs were led by 23 points off the bench from Carrasco, 20 points from Biggs and 16 from Murphy. Wilson came just short of recording a double double with 9 points and 9 rebounds.
Nov. 21: Pima CC 112,
Tohono O’odham CC 74
In their first conference game and first away game of the season, Pima continued its stellar start to the season when they beat Tohono O’odham 112-74 in Sells, Arizona.
It was yet another dominant performance from the Aztecs, who with the win improved to 5-0 on the season and 1-0 in conference play.
Nov. 18: Pima CC 118,
Grand Canyon University Club 60
The Aztecs blew out the opposition for the the third time in four games when they dominated the main club team from Grand Canyon University 118-60 at the West Campus Gym.
Pima built a big lead in the first half and never looked back, as they led 67-17 at halftime.
It was a game in which the Aztecs’ bench played for a majority of the time.
The substitutes certainly took advantage of the minutes, as Carrasco came off the bench to lead the team with 20 points, and two more freshman came off the bench to notch double doubles.
Jeremiah Bailey finished with 19 points and 17 rebounds and Elloheim Clark had 14 points and 11 assists. Clark was just three rebounds away from a triple double.
Pima improved to 4-0 with the win.
Nov. 17: Pima CC 97,
Odessa College 90
In the third game of its season, Pima picked up a huge non-conference win at home when they upset the No. 7 team in the country, the Odessa College Wranglers, by a score of 97-90.
The Aztecs were led by sophomore Darren Biggs who had 22 points, including 14 in the second half, and Carrasco who continued his hot start for Pima with 21 points off the bench. Biggs also led the team in rebounds with 9.
Pima’s superior free-throw shooting and rebounding were two huge factors in the win, as the Aztecs out-rebounded Odessa 40-33 and shot 80 percent from the free-throw line, compared to 72 percent from the Wranglers.
After the game, Biggs was fired up to help lead his team to the upset.
“A win like this is a big step in the right direction as far as what we are trying to accomplish as a team,” he said. “We came out and played at a high level all night, and I was happy I could contribute in the ways that I did.”