The Pima Community College men’s basketball team (9-7, 4-4 in conference) exchanged 23 lead changes and 12 ties with Tohono O’Odham Community College on Saturday and won in the end 87-84 to extend its winning streak to six games.
Down 82-81 with 44.6 seconds left, Shakir Smith (Tucson Magnet HS) scored a basket to put Pima up 83-82. Tohono O’Odham turned the ball over on its next possession with 17.7 seconds left. Smith was fouled and he drained two free throws to put the Aztecs up 85-82. Andres Marquez (Nogales HS) secured the rebound after a missed three-pointer and hit two free throws to secure the win.
The Aztecs took their first lead of the game when Tyler Roberts hit a 3-pointer to make it 10-9 but the biggest lead of the half, and the game, belong to Tohono O’Odham when they led 28-21 with under eight minutes to go. Pima responded on its next possession with a 3-pointer by Tyler D’Amore (Ironwood Ridge HS). The Aztecs trailed 39-38 at halftime.
The lead changed hands six times in the first two minutes of the second half. The Aztecs went on an 8-0 run to take a 52-47 lead but Tohono O’Odham came back with a 12-3 run of its own to take the 62-57 with 9:39 left in the game. Baskets by Murphy Gershman (Tucson Magnet HS), Bryan Cervantes (Nogales HS) and two free throws by Andres Marquez (Nogales HS) put Pima right back up at 63-62. The final tie of the game was 80-80 with 1:22 left in the game.
Smith scored a game-high 27 points with six assists while Gershman had 18 points and 14 rebounds. Marquez scored 13 points going 11 for 14 from the free throw line. Cervantes finished the game with 10 points.
“Even though Shakir didn’t play well, this is a game we would have lost before Christmas,” Pima coach Brian Peabody said. “We need to get back to practice and iron some things out.”
The Aztecs will play at Cochise College in Douglas on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
TOCC 39 45 84
PCC 38 49 87