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Monsters Hold Off Mesa

The Eastern Arizona College basketball team needed overtime Wednesday night before coming away with a 77-74 victory over Mesa CC in Thatcher.EAC came into the game a day after the new NJCAA poll came out with the Gila Monsters ranked 19th in the country. The first half was a see-saw affair with both teams struggling to score. With just over seven minutes to play the score was tied at 19. Eastern then went on a 13-2 run to end the half ahead 32-21. The Monster lead quickly evaporated as Mesa began the second half on a 13-2 run of their own to tie the game at 34 all. From there the lead changed hands 11 times with neither team having more than a three point advantage. With 12 seconds remaining and the score tied at 65 all Eastern had a chance to win but a Jordan Jamestown runner in the lane fell short sending the game to overtime.

After falling behind 67-66 Eastern promptly ran off the next six points to take a 72-67 lead. Mesa would not go quietly and tied the game back at 74 with just over a minute to play. Three free throws by Jamestown, the last of which coming with 3.2 seconds remaining was enough to give the Monsters the win.

EAC placed three players in double figures led by the career high 28 points for Vladimir Bulut. Marcus Palmer poured in 20 and pulled down seven rebounds and Jamestown chipped in with 11 points while grabbing six rebounds and passing out five assists. Eastern struggled from the foul line on the night connecting on only 19 of 33 attempts for 57% but fortunately converted half of their 20 three point attempts.

EAC (17-3, 12-1) will travel to face conference rival Cochise on Saturday night. Game time is set for 7:30 MST and all of the action can be heard live via the internet at www.swsn.net. For all of the latest information on Gila Monster basketball log onto www.eachoops.com.

Note: The Gila Monsters did suffer a set back this week as they were forced to forfeit their 72-47 win over South Mountain. This was the result of a player who saw action in the games final minute and was later ruled ineligible. This drops Eastern's record to 16-4 overall and 11-2 in the ACCAC. It also takes them out of sole possession of first place and moves them into a tie with Arizona Western.