Pima Community College sports

Pima Roundup: Men’s hoops improves to 8-0 after another triple-digit scoring performance

Salpointe graduate Dillan Baker, who is headed to NAU’s program, is a big reason why Pima has scored at least 100 points in the first eight games of the season (Gannon McKinney/Pima Athletics)

The Pima Community College men’s basketball stayed unbeaten on Saturday after beating Mesa Community College in its first ACCAC conference road game of the season.

The No. 15 ranked Aztecs (8-0, 3-0 in ACCAC) used a pair of runs in the first and second half to beat the Thunderbirds 109-88.

The Aztecs have scored in triple digits in all eight games this season.

Up 26-21 and coming out of a timeout with 8:21 left in the half, sophomore Dillan Baker (Salpointe Catholic alum and NAU signee) scored five quick points, which sparked a 12-0 run. Baker capped off the run with a three-pointer to make it 38-21.

Mesa (3-4, 1-2) countered with a 9-2 run of their own to put the score at 40-30 but the Aztecs held a 49-34 advantage at the break.

The Thunderbirds were looking to make another run as they cut Pima’s lead to single digits at 62-53 with 15:00 left but the Aztecs put together another 12-0 run that was capped by freshman Moses Demalek’s 3-point play to make it 74-53.

The Aztecs led by as many as 29 points after freshman Cooper Jones’ (Buena HS) 3-pointer made it 107-78 with 2:00 minutes left.

Baker finished with a game-high 29 points on 11-for-25 shooting. He also had five rebounds.

Sophomore Jaylen Alexander finished with a double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. He went 10 for 11 from the field and also had two assists, three steals and one block.

Freshman Jackson Leyba also provided a spark off the bench as he made all four of his shots from the field for 12 points with eight rebounds and six assists.

The Aztecs scored 52 points off the bench.

Demalek closed out the game with 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists as he went 6 for 10 from the floor. Freshman Cohenj Gonzales had seven assists.

The Aztecs outrebounded the Thunderbirds 49-28 and grabbed 22 offensive boards.

The Aztecs face a tough road test on Wednesday when they play at Chandler-Gilbert Community College (8-1, 3-1). Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.


Pima freshman guard Kennedi Niemann (Stephanie van Latum/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

The Pima Community College women’s basketball team took to the road for the first time in ACCAC conference play on Saturday in a match-up with rival Mesa Community College in a battle between two NJCAA nationally-ranked programs.

The No. 14 ranked Aztecs (6-2, 3-1 in ACCAC) fell to the No. 4 Thunderbirds 73-72 in another classic meeting.

Down 41-35 at halftime, the Aztecs took their first lead of the game in the third quarter after freshman Kennedi Niemann’s basket made it 47-46. It was part of an 18-5 run as Pima held their biggest lead of the contest at 53-46.

Freshman Gabby Lopez (Bisbee) hit a 3-pointer to match the lead at 57-50. Pima outscored them 22-9 for the quarter.

The Aztecs got points from Lopez and freshman Rori Hoffmeyer to make it 65-59 but the Thunderbirds (5-2, 2-1) scored on back-to-back possessions to cut Pima’s lead to one point at 65-64.

With the score at 67-66, sophomore Dominique Acosta (Nogales) scored on two straight possessions to make it 71-66 with 1:48 left in the game. Mesa went on a 5-0 run to tie it at 71-71.

Acosta hit a free throw to put the Aztecs back up 72-71 with 18.1 seconds left but the Thunderbirds scored to take the lead for good with 12.4 seconds left.

Freshman Rylei Waugh drove to the basket but missed a floater and Mesa came down with the rebound.

They missed two free throws and the Aztecs had one final shot. Waugh got the inbounds pass with 2.8 seconds left and put up a shot from the right side of the basket but it hit the back of the rim as time expired.

Niemann finished with a team-high 16 points as she went 7 for 9 from the field. She also had seven rebounds and three assists.

Acosta scored all 13 of her points in the second half as she went 6 for 9 from the floor along with four rebounds.

Waugh closed out the game with 10 points as she struggled going 2 for 15 from the field but was 6 for 6 from the foul line. She also had five rebounds, five assists and three steals.

Sophomore Jordan Joe had nine points off the bench and Hoffmeyer posted eight points and eight rebounds.

Each team’s biggest lead was seven points and they each scored 30 points in the paint.

The Aztecs are back on the road on Wednesday when they play at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m.

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