The Pima Community College women’s basketball team (6-1) beat its second straight Division I opponent at the Willow Creek Inn Invitational on Friday in Ephraim, UT.
The No. 6 ranked Aztecs (Division II) dealt Snow College (Division I) their first loss of the season in their 72-66 win.
The Aztecs held the lead the whole game but the Badgers (9-1) came back in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Izzy Spruit (Mesquite HS) hit a pair of free throws to make it 68-63 with 54 seconds left but the Badgers responded with a three-pointer to cut the lead down to two points. The Aztecs turned it over on their next possession but forced the Badgers to take a bad shot. Spruit came down with the rebound and freshman Jacqulynn Nakai (Navajo) went to the line. She hit both free throws with 7.9 seconds left to make it 70-66.
The Badgers missed a desperate three-pointer and Nakai was fouled again. She hit the next two foul shots to seal it.
The Aztecs struggled from the field in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter which allowed the Badgers to cut Pima’s lead to four points on four occasions. Sophomores Aubre Fortner and Alliyah Bryant (Mesquite HS) made shots and sophomore Christine Ortega (Flowing Wells HS) hit two free throws to keep the Aztecs ahead by six points.
The Aztecs led by as much as 19 points at 56-37 in the third quarter and never trailed in the game.
Bryant came off the bench, hit four 3-pointers and scored 14 of her team-high 18 points in the first half. She finished 4 for 6 from three-point range. Nakai, Fortner and Ortega each scored 12 points while Spruit contributed with 11 points.
The Aztecs will close out the Willow Creek Inn Invitational on Saturday when they play Utah State University-Eastern at 1:00 p.m.