Defensive stops and free throws help Aztecs women's basketball hang on at Eastern Arizona College

Freshman Fama Thiam finished with 11 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocks as the No. 6 ranked Aztecs women's basketball team (Division II) beat Eastern Arizona College (Division I) 77-76 in Thatcher. The Aztecs improved to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in ACCAC conference play. Photo by Stephanie Van Latum
Freshman Fama Thiam finished with 11 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocks as the No. 6 ranked Aztecs women's basketball team (Division II) beat Eastern Arizona College (Division I) 77-76 in Thatcher. The Aztecs improved to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in ACCAC conference play. Photo by Stephanie Van Latum

The Pima Community College women's basketball team (4-2, 1-1 in ACCAC) gutted out a win on the road on Saturday at Eastern Arizona College (7-2, 1-1).

  • The No. 6 ranked Aztecs (Division II) led the entire game but key defensive plays and free throws helped them beat the Gila Monsters (Division I) 77-76 in Thatcher.
  • With the Aztecs up 75-74 with 10 seconds to go, freshman Aaliyah Ortiz (Palo Verde HS) poked the ball loose causing a scramble on the ground. A jump ball was called giving the Aztecs possession. Ortiz was then fouled and knocked down two free throws with 6.1 seconds left. The Gila Monsters scored on the next possession as time ran out.
  •  The Aztecs led 71-62 with 3:20 left but the Gila Monsters went on an 8-0 run to make it a one-point game at 71-70. Sophomore Hallie Lawson (Campo Verde HS) hit a jumper on the next possession. Lawson grabbed a crucial defensive rebound off a missed free throw and Ortiz went to the line and knocked down two free throws to make it 75-71 with 20 seconds remaining. The Gila Monsters scored on a three-point play to set up the end of the game.
  • The Aztecs took control early on and went on an 11-0 run between the first and second quarters to take a 19-6 lead. They held their biggest lead at 31-15 when sophomore Haile Gleason hit a three-pointer and freshman Fama Thiam (Highland HS) hit two foul shots. The Gila Monsters would go on a 13-3 run from that point on to make it 34-28. Gleason got fouled and hit three free throws with 0.5 seconds left in the half to take away some of Eastern's momentum. Pima led 37-28 at the break.
  • Freshman Sierra Mich'l dropped a team-high 15 points with five rebounds and three blocks. Lawson scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Gleason scored all of her 13 points in the first half and finished 4 for 4 from the field
  • Thiam contributed with 11 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Sophomore Alyssa Perez (Marana HS) scored all nine points in the second half to go along with four assists and two steals. Ortiz had six points; all off of free throws.
  • The Aztecs were out-rebounded 55-41 but free throws were clutch as Pima went 18 for 21 from the line.

The Aztecs are back at the West Campus Aztec Gymnasium on Tuesday when they host Arizona Western College. Tip-Off is set for 5:30 p.m.

PCC    13   24   22   18   77
EAC     6   22   21   27   76