TUCSON, AZ - The Pima Community College men's basketball team (15-5, 7-5 in ACCAC Conference) are making it a habit of playing close games but on Wednesday, the Aztecs found themselves on the losing end.
The Aztecs fell 81-79 against Chandler-Gilbert Community College at the West Campus after Matt O'Boyle (Sunrise Mountain HS) missed a shot at the buzzer snapping their three-game winning streak. Their last four games have been decided by either one or two points.
Down 76-67 with 3:40 left in the game, the Aztecs went on an 8-0 run that was capped off by Murphy Gershman's (Tucson Magnet HS) three-point play and O'Boyle's three-pointer that cut it to 76-75 with 2:19 left. With the score at 80-77 and 27 seconds left, Gershman missed a three-pointer with 9.8 seconds left but O'Boyle was foul under the basket. He hit two free throws to make it 80-79. Pima fouled and Chandler-Gilbert missed the second free throw to set up Pima's final shot attempt.
The Aztecs led 48-40 with a few minutes gone by in the second half but Chandler-Gilbert went on a 10-0 run to take a 50-48 lead with 13:12 left in the game. It was their first lead since the score was 5-2. After that, there were eight lead changes but Chandler-Gilbert went on an 8-0 run in a little over a minute to take the lead for good at 69-63 with 5:08 left.
The Aztecs led for most of the first half as they built a 10 point lead at one point.
O'Boyle led the way with 23 points and Murphy Gershman (Tucson Magnet HS) finished with his 11th double-double of the year with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Bryan Cervantes scored 14 points.
The Aztecs will play at Phoenix College, last year's NJCAA Division II National Champion, on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. Pima won the first meeting at the West Campus 89-76 in November.
In the women's game, Shalise Fernander scored 19 of her 23 points in the second half as the Aztecs (10-10, 7-5 in ACCAC Conference) took control for a 89-51 victory over Chandler-Gilbert.