By CHRISTIAN MORTENSEN
After an ideal start to their season, the Pima Community College men’s basketball team has continued in its strong play and currently are enjoying one of the program’s best years in recent memory.
At the moment, the Aztecs are 21-2 overall and are ranked No. 6 in the latest Division II Poll. Sophomores Kevin Biggs and Isaiah Murphy have led the way for Pima, averaging 18.8 and 16.6 points per game, respectively. Freshman Abram Carrasco has made huge contributions off the bench for the Aztecs as well, scoring 18.7 points per game.
Biggs and Murphy’s strong play this season has been rewarded, as they both have received multiple full-ride scholarship offers in the last couple of weeks, including an offer to both of them from Eastern New Mexico University. Point guard Alize Travis has also been offered multiple full-rides in recent weeks.
Feb. 3: No. 6 Pima CC 105 , Eastern Arizona College 98
Against Eastern Arizona College, the Aztecs improved to 21-2 on the season when they defeated the Gila Monsters by a score of 105-98 at the West Campus Gym.
With the win, Pima secured their seventh win in a row and did so with yet another well rounded team effort. Seven different Aztecs scored in double figures as the team shot an efficient 50 percent from the field in the victory.
Travis led the Aztecs in points, as the sophomore dropped in 22 to go with 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Freshman big man Robert Wilson also had a huge impact on the game as his constant motor fueled Pima throughout the night and he finished with 15 points and 6 rebounds.
“We got guards, scorers, pretty much everything we need to win,” Wilson said, “we just need someone to step up as a leader and that’s what I want my role to be on this team.”
Jan. 31: No. 6 Pima CC 91, Glendale CC 82
Playing in their second straight road game, the No. 6 ranked Aztecs came back from a halftime deficit to defeat Glendale Community College 91-82, and by doing so sealed the 20th win of their season. Head Coach Brian Peabody has now led Pima to 20 wins in three of his five seasons as Aztecs head coach.
Travis paced Pima on the night, as the sophomore finished with a season high 33 points, to go along with 6 assists.
With the win the Aztecs sealed the season sweep over the Gauchos, and also earned their sixth straight victory.
Jan. 27: No. 7 Pima CC 100, Chandler-Gilbert CC 91
In their second game of the season against Chandler-Gilbert Community College, the Aztecs avenged one of their two losses on the year when they defeated the Coyotes 100-91 on the road in Chandler.
It was yet another well rounded team win for Pima as seven different players scored in double figures. Murphy and freshman guard Jeremiah Bailey led the team with 17 points each while Biggs added 15 points and 8 rebounds.
Jan. 24: No. 7 Pima CC 117, Tohono O’odham CC 78
In the second game of the year against Tohono O’odham CC, the Aztecs defeated the Jegos 117-78 at the West Campus Gym to sweep the season series.
It was two freshmen, Carrasco and Jeremiah Bailey, who powered Pima on the night, as the two underclassman finished with 28 and 26 points, respectively. Sophomore Ilunga Moise was close to another double-double as he finished with 16 points and 9 rebounds.
Jan. 20: No. 8 Pima CC 112, Arizona Western College 102
After a back-and-forth first half, Pima were able to hold off a late rally Arizona Western to defeat the Matadors 112-102 at the West Campus Gym, and by doing so, sealed its third straight victory.
The Aztecs led Western by 21 points with 8 minutes left in the game, before the Matadors rallied to make it 108-100 with just over a minute left on the game clock. Moise and Carrasco each made a pair of free throws in the time remaining to seal the game for Pima.
Carrasco was the high scorer again for the Aztecs with 28 points, while Biggs added 23 and Moise finished with a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds. It was another well-rounded team victory for Pima who shot an overall 58 percent from the field.
“The team just plays together at all times,” Biggs said after the win, “it’s good to be apart of a group that is so team oriented.”
Jan. 17: No. 8 Pima CC 106, Mesa CC 70
Playing a conference game on the road in Phoenix, Pima defeated Mesa Community College in blowout fashion, 106-70. With the win, the Aztecs improved to 16-2 overall and 8-2 in the conference.
Pima put away the game early as they used a 17-0 run to take a commanding 35-7 lead with 8 minutes left in the first half. The Aztecs were paced throughout the opening period by Biggs who put in 21 first half points while also contributing 8 rebounds and 4 assists on the night.
Pima continued to dominate the game after the team went into halftime winning 57-18, and ended up with six different players who scored in double figures. The Aztecs’ size down low proved to be too much for Mesa and ended up being one of the biggest advantages enjoyed by Pima, who outscored the opposition 46-24 in the paint.
Feb. 10: vs Scottsdale CC
7 p.m. West Campus
Feb. 14: at Cochise College
Feb. 17: vs Phoenix College
4 p.m. West Campus