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Monsters Pick Up Big Win on the Road

It took a perfect bounce off the rim and a last-second shot for Eastern Arizona College to leave Scottsdale victorious Saturday night.

Trailing by one point with less than 10 seconds in the game, Mike James missed a fall-away from the right side. But nobody kept Donald Johnson off the offensive glass as he found himself alone in the middle of the key with the ball in his hands and time running out. He let go a perfect floater that hit nothing but net with just over four seconds remaining to lift the Monsters to a 78-77 victory on the road.

The Fighting Artichokes were able to get off an off-balance three-pointer and a follow from the left corner before the final buzzer sounded, but neither found the net and EAC earned its third straight win.

The Gila Monsters had three players—Johnson, Mike James, and Chris Pruitt—lead the way with 18 points. Dazmond Starke followed with 16 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, seven coming on the offensive end. Johnson finished with 11 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season.

The two teams were deadlocked at 40 at the break and were neck and neck throughout the second half. They were identical from the field with both teams shooting 31-72 from the floor for 43.1 percent. The difference came from behind the arc, though, as EAC made seven 3-pointers to Scottsdale’s four.

The Monsters (10-8 overall, 4-6 ACCAC) have won six of their last seven games heading into this Wednesday’s match-up with Arizona Western College. The game is in Thatcher with tip-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m.