No. 14 Pima men's basketball chokes in final minutes in loss to No. 13 Scottsdale
The Pima Community College men’s basketball team (18-4, 10-4 in ACCAC) couldn’t capitalize on shots down the stretch on Wednesday at Scottsdale Community College (18-4, 10-4).
The No. 14-ranked Aztecs fell to the No. 13 Artichokes 90-80.
The Aztecs took their final lead at 73-71 after sophomore Traivar Jackson hit a pair of free throws with 7:56 left in the game. After that, the Aztecs made just two field goals for the remainder of the game as the Artichokes closed it out with a 19-7 run.
The Aztecs held a slim advantage for much of the first half as the teams traded baskets. Pima went on a 7-0 run to widen their lead to 35-27 but the Artichokes scored the next five points to close the gap to 35-32. Pima led 43-41 and got a three-pointer from freshman Jamison Kay (Gila Ridge HS) and back-to-back buckets by sophomore Cesar Saenz (Sabino HS) to take their biggest lead at 50-41 but Scottsdale again closed in with four straight points. The Aztecs grasped a 50-45 lead at the break.
The Artichokes went up 58-55 with 15:46 left in the game but the Aztecs countered with a 10-0 run as Kay and freshman Mike Pope drained three-pointers. Jackson’s basket inside the paint made it 65-58 with 13:54 left. The Aztecs were up 67-60 but Scottsdale put together an 11-4 run in four minutes to tie it at 71-71.
Jackson finished with a game-high 28 points as he also posted seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks.
Saenz added 15 points to go along with nine assists, four rebounds and two steals.
Pope and freshman Jaylen Alexander each contributed with 10 points.
The Aztecs split the head-to-head meetings with the Artichokes during the regular season as Pima won their first contest 98-84 on Dec. 7.
The Aztecs face another tough test on Saturday as they play at No. 16 (Division I) Cochise College (20-2, 14-0). Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.