The Pima Community College women's basketball team (3-3) is heading back to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament for the seventh time in program history.
- The No. 16 ranked Aztecs defeated Mountain View College 79-51 on Friday in the NJCAA Division II Southwest District Championship game in Dallas, TX.
- The Aztecs established their dominance early as they opened the game with a 10-2 lead. Up 15-9, they went on an 11-0 run to lead 26-9. The Aztecs led 38-23 at the break.
- The Aztecs held their first 20-point advantage with just under seven minutes left in the third quarter at 45-25. Pima held Mountain View College to one field goal in the third quarter.
- The Lions cut Pima's lead to 61-47 but the Aztecs went on a 15-0 run in five and half minutes to make it 76-47 with 2:26 left in the game. Sophomore Nikya Orange (Tanque Verde HS) capped off the run with a three-point play.
- Sophomore Sierra Mich'l finished the game with a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds to go along with six blocks.
- Player's Quote: "I would say we were a lot quicker and we used that to our advantage. We knew it would be more of a post-game and we'd use the post players as our strength," sophomore forward Sierra Mich'l said. "They had 2 players who averaged over 20 points and we knew we had to shut them down. We also knew they didn't have a long bench so we could tire them out when it came to the second half."
- Mich'l is stoked that she and the Aztecs get the opportunity to go to the national tournament after missing out last season when it was canceled due to the pandemic.
- Player's Quote: "It's truly indescribable. This group of sophomores, myself included, were robbed of going to nationals last year so knowing that we get the chance to go and represent Pima on the national stage, is exciting to say the least. I can't wait."
- Orange also posted a double-double with 12 points and 17 rebounds (eight offensive boards). Freshman Luisayde Chavez (Rio Rico HS) had 13 points with seven rebounds, four steals and four assists while sophomore Fama Thiam finished with 12 points, six assists and three steals.
- Coach's Quote: "Early on in the first couple minutes, we got the jitters out and we went inside. We had depth and everyone was ready to do their jobs. It was a total team effort," Pima women's basketball coach Todd Holthaus said. "I think this is one of the most satisfying wins especially not going (to the National Tournament) last year, they did everything they were asked to do. They got through the disappointments and needed one opportunity. I'm happy for the kids."
The Aztecs will compete in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, NC on April 20-24. The brackets will be released on the NJCAA Basketball twitter page on Monday at 11:00 a.m. (ET); 8:00 a.m. (MST).