Mesa, AZ - Suffering through a few injuries, most notably to sophomore point guard and team leader, Takara Wade, Mesa needed someone to step up and lead the team. Fortunately for Kori Stephenson, she had multiple players answer the challenge as the Mesa Thunderbirds defeated ACCAC rival, the Scottsdale Artichokes, 61-47, Wednesday night at Theo Heap Gym.
Sophomore shooting guard Leah Goodman and freshman power forward Diamond Fuller took over the leadership workload to help defeat the Artichokes for Mesa's 12th win of the season. Goodman finished with 14 points, five assists and four steals while Fuller finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, three blocks and two steals.
Relentless defense is the name of the game for Coach Kori Stephenson's bunch and Mesa forced 23 Scottsdale turnovers on the night while scoring 20 points off those turnovers on the offensive side of the ball. Mesa shot 37.3 percent (22-59) from the field on the night, connecting on 9-10 free-throws.
Also finishing in double-figures for the T-Birds in points was freshman Lynnae Mitchell, who had 10 points and two assists.
Mesa is now 7-1 in ACCAC conference play and 12-4 overall. The T-Birds will travel down to Cochise College in Douglas, AZ for a match up with the Apaches at 5:30 pm on Saturday evening then play a big DII conference game against the Pima Aztecs at home next Wednesday night at 5:30 pm.