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Eastern Hangs on at Yavapai

The Eastern Arizona College basketball team won another thriller Tuesday night when they defeated Yavapai 61-57 in Prescott.

The game was close throughout with the biggest margin being Yavapai's opening 7-0 lead. EAC held a three point half time but the lead changed hands several times in the final twenty minutes. Yavapai held a three point advantage heading into the last minute. Eastern's Marcus Palmer connected on two free throws with 42 seconds left cutting the score to 57-56.

After a Yavapai timeout with 22 seconds remaining and only 15 on the shot clock EAC's Will Bynum stole a pass, raced the length of the floor and was fouled as he scored a layup. His free throw then gave the Gila Monsters a 59-57 lead with 15 seconds left. On the next possession EAC was whistled for a foul sending Yavapai to the line but they missed the first attempt and again Bynum came up big grabbing the rebound and again getting fouled. He made both to push the lead to four and then the Monsters held on for the win.

EAC was led in scoring by Palmer who scored a game high 26 points. Bynum chipped in with 11, including the last five. Eastern, normally a 40% shooting team from beyond the arc on the year, struggled making only 4 of 24 attempts on the night. Fortunately, the EAC defense held Yavapai to similar shooting numbers enabling the Monsters to escape with the win.

EAC (22-6, 17-4) will play their final regular season game of the year on Friday when they host Pima. A win will give Eastern at least a share of the regular season conference title, it would be the schools first since 1995. The Region I playoffs will begin the following week though the pairings will not be determined until after all of the results of the final night of games. The game Friday is set for a 7:30 MST tip 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.