Aztecs men's basketball survive second half rally to top South Mountain

Sophomore Deion James secured his 14th double-double of the season with 29 points and 12 rebounds in Pima's 121-92 win over South Mountain Community College. The Aztecs improved to 16-8 overall and 10-6 in ACCAC conference play. Photo by Ben Carbajal
Sophomore Deion James secured his 14th double-double of the season with 29 points and 12 rebounds in Pima's 121-92 win over South Mountain Community College. The Aztecs improved to 16-8 overall and 10-6 in ACCAC conference play. Photo by Ben Carbajal

The Pima Community College men's basketball team (16-8, 10-6 in ACCAC) dominated the first half against South Mountain Community College (10-14, 2-14) but almost lost its advantage before closing it out.

The Aztecs defeated the Cougars 121-92 on Wednesday at the West Campus. The Aztecs started the game with crisp ball movement and were overpowering the Cougars in the first half. The Aztecs took a 57-27 lead at one point and went into the break ahead 59-34.

The Cougars rallied back to close it to single digits after a 26-9 run in seven minutes to make it 68-60. That's as close as they'd did as freshman Isaiah Murphy (Cienega HS) and sophomore Emilio Acedo (Salpointe Catholic HS) each drained a pair of three-pointers to help cap off a 22-10 run and make it 90-70.

Sophomore Deion James (Empire HS) produced his 14th double-double of the season with a team-high 29 points and 12 rebounds. He went 10 for 14 from the field and also had four assists. Acedo finished with 28 points as he hit seven 3-pointers. Murphy and sophomore Damon Dubots each finished with 16 points.

The bench contributed as freshman Ilunga Moise had a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds and fellow freshman Alize Travis finished with nine points and 10 assists.

The Aztecs swept the regular season meetings with the Cougars. They won 116-84 in Phoenix.

The Aztecs will play at Scottsdale Community College on Saturday at 5:00 p.m.

SMCC  34     58     92
PCC     59     62     121