The Pima Community College men's basketball team (8-3, 3-1 in ACCAC) took an early advantage in its game against Eastern Arizona College (6-5, 0-4) and didn't relinquish the lead on Wednesday at the West Campus. The Aztecs defeated the Gila Monsters 94-88.
The Aztecs took an early 21-6 lead and held a 51-41 lead at halftime. The Gila Monsters closed the gap to single digits but the Aztecs would quickly respond and go back up by 10-13 points in the second half. Eastern Arizona got as close as five points at 93-88 with 20 seconds left.
Sophomore Deion James (Empire HS) stepped up his intensity from the get-go as he finished with a double-double of 21 points and 15 rebounds. He also added six assists. Freshman Isaiah Murphy (Cienega HS) scored a team-high 22 points as he was a perfect 7 for 7 from the field and 6 for 6 from the free throw line. Sophomore Jacob Anastasi (Cactus Shadows HS) added 16 points on 6 for 9 shooting while fellow sophomore Zach Evans (Hamilton HS) had 11 points and four assists. Damon Dubots contributed with 10 points.
Pima head coach Brian Peabody earned his 500th career head coaching victory on Wednesday night.
"It only means I've been coaching forever and had really good players over the years," Peabody said. "My assistants deserve all the credit; thanks to (Mike) Morgan, (Matt) Minder, Dylan (Hidalgo) and (Joe) Hickle."
The Aztecs will play at South Mountain Community College on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. The Cougars eliminated the Aztecs in the Region I, Division II semifinals last season.
EAC 41 47 88
PCC 51 43 94
Deion James/Photo by Stephanie Van Latum