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Pima women's basketball goes 2-1 at Willow Creek Inn Invitational

The Pima Community College women’s basketball team (6-2) closed out play in the Willow Creek Inn Invitational on Saturday in Ephraim, Utah.

The No. 6-ranked Aztecs trailed for most of the game in their 78-63 loss to Utah State University-Eastern. The Aztecs went 2-1 in the invitational as they defeated Colorado Northwestern Community College on Thursday and beat Snow College on Friday.

Freshman Jacqulynn Nakai (Coconino HS) scored a game-high 24 points. She went 5 for 8 from three-point range and finished 8 for 19 from the field. Fellow freshman Shauna Bribiescas (Dobson HS) was a rebound short of a double-double as she posted 14 points and nine rebounds. She went 5 for 8 from the field.

The Aztecs were out-rebounded 43-25 for the game and were outscored in the fourth quarter 21-11.

The Aztecs return to ACCAC conference play on Wednesday when they travel to Thatcher to face Eastern Arizona College. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m.

Friday's result: Pima CC Aztecs 72, Snow College Badgers 66

The Pima Community College women’s basketball team (6-1) beat its second straight Division I opponent at the Willow Creek Inn Invitational on Friday.

The Aztecs (Division II) dealt Snow College (Division I) their first loss of the season in their 72-66 win.

The Aztecs held the lead the whole game but the Badgers (9-1) came back in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Izzy Spruit (Mesquite HS) hit a pair of free throws to make it 68-63 with 54 seconds left but the Badgers responded with a three-pointer to cut the lead down to two points. The Aztecs turned it over on their next possession but forced the Badgers to take a bad shot. Spruit came down with the rebound and freshman Jacqulynn Nakai (Coconino HS) went to the line. She hit both free throws with 7.9 seconds left to make it 70-66.

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The Badgers missed a desperate three-pointer and Nakai was fouled again. She hit the next two foul shots to seal it.

The Aztecs struggled from the field in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter which allowed the Badgers to cut Pima’s lead to four points on four occasions. Sophomores Aubre Fortner and Alliyah Bryant (Mesquite HS) made shots and sophomore Christine Ortega (Flowing Wells HS) hit two free throws to keep the Aztecs ahead by six points. 

The Aztecs led by as much as 19 points at 56-37 in the third quarter and never trailed in the game.

Bryant came off the bench, hit four 3-pointers and scored 14 of her team-high 18 points in the first half. She finished 4 for 6 from three-point range. Nakai, Fortner and Ortega each scored 12 points while Spruit contributed with 11 points.

Thursday's result: Pima CC Aztecs 107, Colorado Northwestern CC Spartans 47

The Pima Community College women’s basketball team (5-1) played its first game at the Snow College Tournament on Thursday.

The Aztecs defeated Division I team Colorado Northwestern Community College 107-47 after surrendering just nine points to the Spartans (0-9) in the first half.

Freshman Jacqulynn Nakai (Coconino HS) scored a team-high 15 points with six rebounds, six assists and five steals. Fellow freshman Shauna Bribiescas (Dobson HS) went 5 for 6 from the field with 13 points.

Freshman Ryleigh Long and sophomore Izzy Spruit (Mesquite HS) each scored 12 points while sophomore Alliyah Bryant (Mesquite HS) dropped 11 points. Freshman Macey Rose (Basha HS) was close to a double-double with eight points and nine rebounds and sophomore Piper Mali (Ironwood Ridge HS) finished with nine points.

The Aztecs outrebounded the Spartans 50-24 for the game. Pima also finished 15 for 18 from the free throw line.

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Ben Carbajal/PCC

Freshman Jacqulynn 'JJ' Nakai scored a game-high 24 points on Saturday but the Aztecs fell to Utah State University-Eastern 78-63. The Aztecs went 2-1 at the Willow Creek Inn Invitational. The Aztecs handed Snow College their first loss on Friday and dominated Colorado Northwestern Community College. The Aztecs are 6-2 overall.

Wilow Creek Inn Invitational (Hosted by Snow College)

Utah State University-Eastern Golden Eagles 78, Pima CC Aztecs 63 (Saturday)

Pima CC Aztecs 72, Snow College Badgers 66 (Friday)

Pima CC Aztecs 107, Colorado Northwestern CC Spartans 47 (Thursday)