The Pima Community College men's basketball team (4-0) faced its first test of the season on Sunday against Utah State University-Eastern.
The Aztecs came away with the 92-90 victory at the West Campus gym.
Down 87-85 with 1:07 left and coming out of a timeout, the Aztecs' pressure defense forced the Eagles to turn the ball over. Freshman Alize Travis drained a three-pointer to give the Aztecs the lead. USU-Eastern converted on a three-point play to retake the lead at 90-88 but sophomore Emilio Acedo (Salpointe Catholic HS) hit another three-pointer to make it 91-90.
Sophomore Zach Evans (Hamilton HS) came up with a steal and was fouled with 14.6 seconds remaining. He made one of the free throws. USU-Eastern brought the ball up-court and freshman Deion James (Empire HS) forced a turnover as time expired.
The Aztecs and the Eagles played a tight first half as neither team held a lead larger than five points in the first 15 minutes. The Eagles went on a 7-1 run to take a 40-32 advantage but the Aztecs responded with a 7-0 run of their own. The score was tied 46-46 at halftime.
The Aztecs took a double-digit lead after going on a 17-6 run to make it 77-64 with under eight minutes left. Up 83-76, the Aztecs surrendered a 9-0 run and fell behind 85-83 with 2:52 left.
Acedo finished the game with a team-high 24 points as he went 6 for 12 from three-point range. James scored 14 of his 19 points in the second half to go along with seven rebounds and two steals. Sophomore Damon Dubots contributed with 13 points and six boards. Freshman Isaiah Murphy (Cienega HS) and sophomore Jacob Anastasi (Cactus Shadows HS) each finished with 11 points. Evans had nine assists.
The Aztecs will be back at the West Campus gymnasium for the Tohono O'odham Community College Native American Classic. They'll start it off on Thursday against New Mexico Junior College at 4:00 p.m.
USU 46 44 90
PCC 46 46 92