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Monsters Edge by Central

It took a resilient Monster squad to finish off a two-point victory at Central Arizona College Saturday night. EAC came away with an 89-87 win to put itself just one game out of the final Division I playoff spot in the ACCAC.

After Central Arizona freshman guard D.J. Hamilton drilled a three-pointer from the right corner to tie the game at 87-87 with 4.1 seconds left, Mike James coolly sank two free throws with 0.1 showing on the clock to give EAC the two-point victory.

Despite the small amount of time on the clock, the Vaqueros still had a chance to inbound from the side line and attempt to tip the ball in for the tie.

On the first attempt, the buzzer sounded immediately after the inbounds pass was thrown, instead of when a player made contact with the ball. The officials put 0.1 seconds back on the clock and gave Central Arizona another chance. This time, Monster freshman Dazmond Starke batted the ball down and the real final buzzer sounded.

The defensive play was a punctuation to the end of the game for Starke who led all scorers with a game-high 28 points to go with nine rebounds. He was 8-for-8 from the free throw line. James tallied 21 points of his own, including five three-pointers. Freshman Donald Johnson rounded out the trio of double-digit scorers with 12 points and 11 rebounds for his twelfth double-double of the season.

Hamilton led Central Arizona with 21 points, including 19 in the second half.

The victory was the second on the road for EAC in back-to-back games and came against the fourth-place Vaqueros. The Monsters now sit at 13-9 overall, 7-7 in ACCAC play and are just one game behind Central Arizona, who falls to 11-10 overall and 8-6 in the ACCAC.

EAC has won six of its last seven games and heads into a home match-up with Pima College Wednesday night with revenge on its mind. The Monsters fell 91-89 at Pima on December 6th. Next up for the Vaqueros is a trip to Arizona Western College on Wednesday. Tip-off for both games is set for 7:30 p.m.