Information from the the Pima College media relations department contributed to this report:
The Pima Community College women’s basketball team picked up a significant win over No. 20 Mesa last night to gain some ground in the ACCAC Division II standings.
The Aztecs (19-7, 12-6 in ACCAC) trailed the Thunderbirds by one game for the top seed in Division II. The Aztecs have four regular season games remaining.
The Aztecs led 36-34 heading into the fourth quarter and scored the first five points after sophomore Hallie Lawson hit a jumper and sophomore Alyssa Perez, a former Marana star, converted on a 3-point play to make it 41-34.
Up 45-38 with 5:41 left, freshman Aaliyah Ortiz of Palo Verde hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Aztecs a 51-39 lead with 4:22 remaining.
Perez helped seal it as she again scored on a 3-point play to keep it at a double digit advantage. The Aztecs led 56-44 with 1:30 left.
The Aztecs led 17-16 at halftime as both teams struggled from the field. Pima went 6 for 24 while the Thunderbirds (16-9, 13-5) were 6 for 25.
Perez finished with a game-high 17 points as she went 5 for 9 from the field and 7 for 10 from the free throw line. She fell just short of a double-double with nine rebounds.
Lawson did finish with a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds to go along with three blocks. Ortiz added nine points as she went 3 for 3 from beyond the arc. Freshman Sierra Mich’l had six points and five blocks.
The Aztecs will return to the West Campus Aztec Gymnasium on Saturday to face South Mountain. Tipoff is at 2:00 p.m.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.