Pima Community College’s women’s basketball team lost 82-68 to Kansas City (Kan.) Community College this afternoon in a quarterfinal matchup, sending the Aztecs to the consolation bracket in the NJCAA Division II national tournament held in Harrison, Ark.
Sophomore guard JJ Nakai scored 32 points with eight rebounds, six steals and four assists. Her stellar career will continue for at least one more game as the Aztecs (22-12) will next play in the consolation bracket at 1 p.m. against an opponent to be determined. The best they can finish is fifth place.
The men, which lost Tuesday in the opening round of the NJCAA Division II national tournament in Danville, Ill., also play a consolation game tomorrow at 1 p.m. The Aztecs will face St. Clair County (Mich.).
Freshman forward Hallie Lawson (10 points) was the only other double-figure scorer for Pima against Kansas City. Fellow freshman Alyssa Perez, a guard from Marana, had nine points and eight rebounds.
Pima and Kansas City were tied at 13 at the end of the first quarter, but the Aztecs were outscored 47-29 over the second and third quarters. Pima was down by as many as 26 points in the third quarter before staging a comeback attempt in the final period.
A 14-4 run capped by a RyLeigh Long layup with 1:29 left cut the lead to 78-68. The Aztecs applied a press, which Kansas City broke and Blue Devils guard Brodi Byrd made a layup at the shot-clock buzzer with 57 seconds left. That effectively ended the Aztecs’ charge.
Shauna Bribiescas, a sophomore forward, helped the comeback try with all eight of her points in the second half.
Pima struggled from 3-point range, making 5 of 20 shots, and the Aztecs were outrebounded 44-32. Kansas City’s size inside enabled the Blue Devils to pull down 16 offensive rebounds.