Mesa, AZ – After falling short in their last four games, the Mesa Community College men's basketball team (10-11, 9-7 ACCAC) used a strong second half to take down the Glendale Community College Gauchos (12-12, 6-10 ACCAC) to the tune of 74-63 in an Arizona Community College Athletic Conference match-up on Wednesday night at Theo Heap Gymnasium in Mesa.
Even though Glendale's sophomore Trey Johnson led all scorers with 19 points, the Thunderbirds received 16 points each from freshmen Obi Megwa and Trevor Johnson and shot an impressive 55-percent from the field in the second half to overtake the Gauchos and secure the double-digit victory.
While starting the game on a quick 6-1 run fueled by four early points from Megwa, Mesa fell victim to missed opportunities as three-pointers from Glendale's sophomore Chazz Wade and freshman Chandler Solis helped the Gauchos go on a 16-6 scoring run over the next nine minutes of play.
With just under six minutes remaining in the first half, a dunk from freshman Jordan Higgins and a perimeter jumper from Trevor Johnson cut the Thunderbird deficit to only one, 21-20, but the assistance of eight points from sophomore Jacob Taylor allowed the Gauchos to end the first half on a 15-10 run to give Glendale the lead at the half, 36-30.
The second half opened with an early three-point basket from Mesa's sophomore Nate Jimerson, and even though Glendale's Trey Johnson kept things competitive in the low post, 11-combined points from sophomore Sam Hainline and freshman Brandon Dixon gave the Thunderbirds a 53-46 lead with 12:10 remaining in the contest.
After a couple of jumpers and a dunk from Trey Johnson gave Glendale a slight edge with only seven minutes remaining, a hard-fought jumper from sophomore Kyle Bingham and solid free throw shooting from freshman Edward Hardt and Megwa gave Mesa a 61-56 advantage with just 3:24 to play.
A stretch of three-straight baskets from Trey Johnson cut Glendale's deficit to only four points, 67-63, with under a minute remaining, but Trevor Johnson put the Thunderbirds on his back and scored eight of Mesa's final 13 points, capped off by a ferocious two-handed slam dunk, to solidify the win, 74-63.
The Thunderbirds will next be in action this Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. MST when they travel to South Mountain Community College and look to sweep the season series against the Cougars.