The Pima Community College men's basketball team (4-2) fell behind in the first half of its game against Salt Lake Community College (Division I) but made a dramatic comeback that would eventually fall short.
The Aztecs gave last year's NJCAA Division I national champions a run for their money in the second half but lost 102-95 as the Bruins went 11 for 12 on their free throws in the final four minutes; which included going 5 for 6 in the final 24 seconds.
The Aztecs trailed 56-36 at halftime and trailed by as much as 22 points in the first minute of the second half. Down 75-56 with 12:37 left in the game, the Aztecs went on a 19-4 run in almost five minutes to cut Salt Lake's lead to 79-75. Sophomore Emilio Acedo (Salpointe Catholic HS) scored 10 points and freshman Isaiah Murphy (Cienega HS) scored seven points during that stretch.
Acedo cut the Bruins' lead to one point at 85-84 after he nailed a three-pointer with 4:19 left. Sophomore Jacob Anastasi (Cactus Shadows HS) drained a three-pointer with 2:31 left to make it 91-89 but the Aztecs couldn't overtake the lead.
Murphy scored 19 of his 28 points in the second half. Acedo hit seven 3-pointers and scored 22 of his 28 points in the second half. Sophomore Damon Dubots contributed with 18 points and eight rebounds but fouled out with 6:30 left in the game. Sophomore Deion James (Empire HS) had 12 points and five rebounds.
The Aztecs will close out the Tohono O'odham Community College Native American Classic on Saturday against the Pascua Yaqui club team at 8:00 p.m at the West Campus gymnasium.
PCC 36 59 95
SLCC 56 46 102
Isaiah Murphy/Photo by Casey Muse Jr.