The Pima Community College women’s basketball team (21-5, 15-3 in ACCAC) completed a rally in the second half in its game at Mesa Community College (12-14, 9-9) to earn a 71-65 win and the regular season series-sweep.
The victory also clinched the No. 1 seed for the Region I, Division II playoffs next month.
The No. 6 ranked Aztecs snagged the lead for good at the end of the third quarter. Down 42-35, the Aztecs closed out the quarter on a 7-0 run to take a 44-42 lead. It was their first lead since 1-0.
The run carried into the early minutes of the fourth quarter as freshman Sydni Stallworth (Palo Verde HS) stole the ball and went coast-to-coast for the layup. That made it a 15-2 run and put the Aztecs up 50-44 with 7:20 left in the game. Pima held Mesa to two points in over six minutes between the third and fourth quarters.
The Aztecs’ biggest lead came when sophomore Gabby Banales (Cienega HS) drained a three-pointer to make it 59-50 with 3:54 left.
P.C.C. trailed by as much as eight points in the first half and were down 34-27 at the break.
Stallworth, who was named the ACCAC Division II Player of the Week for the fourth time, finished with a game-high 25 points to go along with six rebounds and four steals. She was 8 for 8 from the free throw line. Sophomore Taylor Blue (Peoria HS) secured a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds and freshman Denesia Smith (Cienega HS) had 12 points, five rebounds and two assists.
The Aztecs swept the regular season head-to-head meetings with the Thunderbirds for the second year in a row. Pima won 76-69 at the West Campus in December.
Meanwhile, the Pima men's team blew a 14-point first half lead in losing to Mesa 94-91.
Sophomore Yusef Shehata (Amphitheater HS) finished with a game-high 24 points on 8 for 12 shooting and 6 for 8 from three-point range. He also had eight assists. Fellow sophomore Justice Martion had 21 points and eight rebounds while Biggs contributed with 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Williams had 16 points on 7 for 8 shooting off the bench.
The Aztecs were swept in their head-to-head meetings with Mesa this season. They lost 75-69 at the West Campus in December.
Both Aztecs squads play at Arizona Western College on Saturday with the women's game beginning at 5:30 p.m.
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