Aztecs men's basketball falls in instant classic at Phoenix College

Sophomore Emilio Acedo scored a game-high 20 points but the Aztecs dropped the tug of war battle at Phoenix College 72-67. The game featured 12 ties and 16 lead changes. Aztec sra enow 18-9 overall and 12-7 in ACCAC conference play. Photo by Stephanie Van Latum.
Sophomore Emilio Acedo scored a game-high 20 points but the Aztecs dropped the tug of war battle at Phoenix College 72-67. The game featured 12 ties and 16 lead changes. Aztec sra enow 18-9 overall and 12-7 in ACCAC conference play. Photo by Stephanie Van Latum.

The Pima Community College men's basketball team (18-9, 12-7 in ACCAC) came up on the short end in a back-and-forth battle at Phoenix College on Saturday.

The No. 20 ranked Aztecs fell to the No. 11 Bears 72-67 in a game that featured 12 ties and 16 lead changes. Neither team held a lead that surpassed six points.

The Aztecs trailed 68-62 with over a minute left in the game but scored five straight points to make it 68-67. The Bears scored on their next trip down the floor to make it a three-point deficit at 70-67. After an Alize Travis miss, the Bears got the defensive rebound and the Aztecs committed a foul with 7.3 seconds left. The Aztecs couldn't collect the defensive rebound after a missed free throw and the Bears hit two more foul shots to seal it with 4.8 seconds left.

There were seven ties and nine lead changes in the first half alone as the teams were tied at 32-32 at the break. Down 46-44 with 12 minutes left, the Aztecs went on an 8-0 run in three minutes led by sophomore Deion James (Empire HS) and freshman Ilunga Moise (Kellis HS) to make it 52-46. The Aztecs maintained a slim advantage until the Bears took a 58-57 lead with 5:17 left. The Aztecs would tie the game on two more occasions but couldn't take the lead.

Sophomore Emilio Acedo scored a team-high 20 points on 6 for 9 shooting. He went 3 for 6 from three-point range. James produced his 16th double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds to go along with five assists and three blocks. Sophomore Damon Dubots contributed with 11 points.

The Aztecs were swept in their head-to-head meetings with the Bears. They lost 96-89 last month at the West Campus.

The Aztecs play two more regular season home games as they host Central Arizona College on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

PCC     32     35     67
PC       32     40     72