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Monsters Fall to Central Arizona

Thatcher, AZ — A late scoring run for the Vaqueros and many missed offensive opportunities around the basket for Eastern Arizona College led to the Gila Monsters’ demise Wednesday night in an 80-69 defeat in Guitteau Gymnasium.

The Gila Monsters led 55-54 with 6:24 remaining in the game when Central Arizona’s Albert Bedford made two free throws to take a lead the Vaqueros would never relinquish. Central Arizona went on a 12-0 run over the next four minutes of play to help close out the ACCAC match-up.

Eastern Arizona College (4-5 overall, 0-3 ACCAC) was led by Mario Gill with 17 points and 7 rebounds. Donald Johnson led the Gila Monsters with 16 rebounds to go with 14 points while Dazmond Starke and Mike James also reached double-digits in the scoring column with 16 points and 15 points respectively.

The Vaqueros (4-4, 2-1) were led by Travis Payton with 18 points and 7 assists and Theo Hatcher’s 15 points in just 11 minutes of play.

The Gila Monsters out-rebounded Central Arizona 57-42 and attempted 13 more shots from the floor. Despite tallying 15 steals to the Vaqueros 10, Eastern Arizona College turned the ball over 11 more times.

The Gila Monsters travel to Pima College on Saturday for a 4 pm tip-off while Central Arizona hosts Arizona Western College at 6 pm.