Monsters Fall to Mesa
Thatcher, AZ --
In a game with plenty of playoff implications attached to it, EAC fell to Mesa College 88-83 Saturday night in Guitteau Gymnasium.
The game started off well for the home team as the Monsters jumped out to a 10-0 lead to open the game as four different players scored. They held their biggest lead at 24-9 with 11:42 remaining in the first half, but Mesa closed the deficit and trailed by 10 at the half.
The T-birds continued to chip away at the lead in the second half and finally took their first lead with 2:45 left in the game as guard Tyler Molesworth drained a straight-away three-pointer out of a timeout.
EAC took the lead right back on a Donald Johnson field goal. But that would be the last lead for the Monsters as Mesa closed out the contest on an 8-3 run. EAC was led by freshman forward Darryl Finley with 16 points to go with six rebounds. Dazmond Starke chipped in with 14 points and Mike James (13), Mario Gill (12) and Chris Pruitt (11) also reached double-digits in the scoring column.
The T-Birds were led by Molesworth’s game-high of 19 points followed by Seth Richens and Keawe Enos with 16 and 15 points respectively.
Coming in, the Monsters trailed Mesa by two games in the ACCAC Division I standings. A win would have put EAC within one-game of the final playoff spot with 10 conference games remaining.
The loss, however, pushes the Monsters (11-9 overall, 5-7 ACCAC) back to a three-game deficit and they are now on the outside looking in at the playoff race. If the two teams tie at the end of the season, the Thunderbirds (11-4, 9-4) win the tiebreaker, as well, since they swept EAC this season.
Next up for Monsters is a trip to Glendale Wednesday. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.