- By ED PETRUSKA Contributing Writer-Pinal Central
SIGNAL PEAK — The Central Arizona College men's basketball team gave Pima a slew of extra offensive opportunities, and the Aztecs capitalized to come away with a 95-83 victory on Wednesday night at the George Young Activity Center.
"Too many second chances. That's what it came down to," CAC coach Tramaine Aaron said. "Our defensive rebounding was bad, and that's what hurt us."
Pima, ranked No. 16 in Division II, took command with a barrage of 3-pointers to begin the second half, sinking six in the first five minutes to extend its lead from 46-40 to 66-47. Three of those treys came after the Aztecs (5-3, 2-2 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) prolonged the possession by snagging an offensive rebound.
The Vaqueros (1-7, 1-3 ACCAC) whittled Pima's 19-point advantage to six with 7:02 remaining, but would get no closer. Rashad Smith netted the Aztecs' seventh 3-pointer of the second half to cap a 13-6 run that put Pima up 86-73 with 3:06 to play.
Central made 14 3-pointers had four players reach double figures, led by 23 points from James Govan.
"Offensively we were fine," Aaron said. "We moved the ball fairly well and we made some shots."
The wins will come, he said, "if we get better defensively, stick together and finish each possession."
Abram Carrasco knocked down five of Pima's 12 3-pointers en route to scoring a game-high 25 points. Three of those 3-pointers came in the first 90 seconds of the second half.
Kennedy Koehler scored 15 of his 23 points in the second half, and the Aztecs got 13 apiece from Robert Wilson and Smith.
The Aztecs came in averaging an ACCAC-best 97.9 points per game.
The Vaqueros crept back into contention with an 11-0 surge, slicing the deficit to 66-58 on Govan's basket with 12:22 remaining. Another basket by Govan narrowed the margin to 73-67 with 7:02 left.