The Pima Community College men's basketball team (28-4) is heading back to Danville, IL for the NJCAA Division II National Tournament as the Aztecs claimed its second straight Region I, Division II title on Friday in Phoenix.
The No. 2 seeded Aztecs beat No. 1 Phoenix College 73-70 after their pressure defense forced a missed three-pointer and a missed shot just outside the paint in the final 09.7 seconds left.
With the game tied at 65-65 with 2:47 remaining, sophomore Ilunga Moise (Raymond S. Kellis HS) hit two free throws to put the Aztecs back on top. After a Phoenix turnover, Moise scored two points in the paint to make it 69-65. The Bears hit a three-pointer but the Aztecs regained their three-point lead after freshman Abram Carrasco (Cholla HS) hit a pair of free throws.
The Bears failed to convert on a three-point play with the Aztecs still ahead 71-70. Moise grabbed the defensive rebound on the missed free throw and hit another pair of foul shots with 1:00 minute left.
The Aztecs trailed the entire first half until sophomore Isaiah Murphy (Cienega HS) scored inside with 53 seconds left. The Aztecs led 33-32 at the break.
Sophomore Keven Biggs (Cienega HS) scored the first eight Pima points in the second half as part of a 12-3 run to make it 45-35 with 15:33 left in the game. The Bears countered with an 8-2 run to cut it to 47-43. The Aztecs regained a double digit lead at 55-45 after Murphy hit a three-pointer with 10:16 left. The Aztecs never trailed in the second half.
Biggs was named the game's Most Valable Player after he hit six 3-pointers and scored a team-high 26 points.
"We are known for being an offensive team but tonight we guarded," Pima coach Brian Peabody said. "I couldn't be happier for Keven Biggs. I really wanted this for him."
Moise had a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Jeremiah Bailey scored 13 points with eight rebounds while Murphy had 13 points and six rebounds. Sophomore Alize Travis finished with three points and eight assists.
The Aztecs will play in the NJCAA Division II Tournament on Mar. 20-24 in Danville, IL. The bracket is to be announced.
PCC 33 40 73
PC 32 38 70