By HANK ROUBICHAUD
The Aztecs fell to 3-4 on the season and 0-2 in conference with their third straight loss on Nov. 28 by the score of 85-74 to the Eastern Arizona Gila Monsters.
The Aztecs started well, having outscored the Gila Monsters 26-14 in the first quarter. From there, the Gila Monsters went on a 23-5 run to give them a double-digit lead 39-28. Pima then trailed 44-37 at the half.
The Aztecs started the third quarter on an 8-2 run, then took a 65-64 lead at the start of the fourth quarter. The Gila Monsters took the lead back with a 15-7 run to open the fourth, and the Aztecs could not recover.
Sophomore Jacqulynn Nakai led all scorers with 27 points on 10 for 18 shooting. Fellow sophomore Shauna Bribiescas had a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds. Freshmen Tyra Do and sophomore Bryanne Olson each contributed 8 points.
On Nov. 21, Nakai was named ACCAC Division II Player of the Week Nov. 12-18 for her performance.
The Aztecs went 1-2 at the Eastern Arizona Classic last week, but Nakai was a consistent bright spot. She scored 74 points (24.6 average), grabbed 19 rebounds (6.3 average), dished out 20 assists (6.7 average) and picked off 10 steals (3.3 average).
The No. 14-ranked Aztecs (Division II) fell to the 23rd-ranked Cochise College Apaches (Division I) on Nov. 20 by the final score of 99-67.
The Apaches pulled away from the Aztecs in the fourth when the Aztecs were outscored 26-11 in the fourth quarter. Coming out of halftime, the Aztecs were down 37-29 but started the third quarter with a surge of energy, snapping off a 7-0 run, to bring the score to 37-36. The Aztecs kept it close for most of the third, starting out 9 of 10 shooting, but the shooting eventually settled down and the Aztecs were outscored 27-11 in the final part of the third.
Nakai (Coconino HS) finished with 16 points and 8 assists. Do also had 16 points. Bribiescas (Dobson HS) also scored in double figures with 11 points.
The third game of the Eastern Arizona Classic on Nov. 17, ended in a loss to No. 7 Illinois Central College by the score 96-90.
The second quarter was tough for the Aztecs getting outscored 35-21, which lead to them trailing by 13 at halftime. Nakai finished off a great tournament with another game high in points putting up another 26 points and bringing in 5 rebounds and 4 assists. For the tournament, she averaged 24.6 points.
Bribiescas finished the game with 16 points and 8 rebounds, while fellow sophomore Brianna Pitre scored 15 points. Olson also contributed with 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting.
On Nov 16, the second day of the Eastern Arizona Classic, the Aztecs were able to get back to their winning ways after defeating Lower Columbia College Red Devils by the final score of 85-72.
The Aztecs took control of the game in the second quarter when they outscored the Red Devils 25-8 in the second quarter.
It was another big game for Nakai as she flirted with a triple-double scoring 24 points while bringing down 8 rebounds, and dishing out 8 assists.
Bribiescas had an impact game for the Aztecs as well going 7 of 11 from the field finishing with 18 points and 6 rebounds. Sophomore RyLeigh Long had 9 points while Pitre and Marlena Arroyo-Plata followed up with 8 points each.
The defense was swarming over Lower Columbia, forcing 26 turnovers. The great defensive play lead to the 18-3 run the Aztecs had during the game that changed the momentum for the Aztecs.
The Women Aztecs took on the Howard College Hawks on Nov. 15 and fell just short by the score of 71-64 at Thatcher College at the Eastern Arizona classic.
The Aztecs dropped to 2-1 on the season, from the tough loss to the Hawks. The turning point in the game was the third quarter where the Aztecs were outscored 20-10. The Aztecs went into the half up 3 and went into the fourth down 7. The Aztecs matched the Howard Hawks’ score in the fourth 24-24.
Nakai had a game-high 24 points for the Aztecs to go along with 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals. Also, Do had an efficient night from the field, shooting 8 for 10 from the field ending the game with 16 points. Bribiescas added 7 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists to the Aztecs’ effort.
One of the main factors for the Aztecs’ loss was getting out-rebounded 46-34 on the game.