The Eastern Arizona College basketball teams hosted the Mexican National teams in what was a mini pre-season tournament.

On Thursday night the Gila Monster women picked up the 58-53 win and the Monster men defeated the visitors 91-85 in the exciting second game of the night.

In the first contest of the night the ladies from EAC managed to close out the first period up 12-9, but stormed ahead in the second period to enter the halftime leading 30-13.

The National team from Mexico opened the second half with a 6-0 scoring run that cut the gap to 30-19, at which point EAC Coach Cameron Turner stopped the clock. Following the time out and technical foul on the Monsters, Eastern was able to pull ahead 39-28. With 57 seconds left on the third period Mexico National player Angel Fierro Sanchez’s legs became tangled with others and she went face first on the EAC floor. Pamela Hernandez Escalante came in for Sanchez and made the free throw awarded to the injured Sanchez, cutting the Monster advantage to 41-40. Twenty-five seconds later Escalante would give the team from Mexico their first lead of the night at 42-41.

In the final period the National team moved to 44-41, but the Monsters scored six points to go back on top, 47-44. When the visitors got to within one point, 47-46 Coach Turner again stopped the clock with 7:17. Coming out of the time out sophomore Jasmine Singleton had a steal and score moving it to 49-46 with 6:45 left on the clock.

The National team then stopped the clock, after which they tied EAC at 49-49.

With 4:14 left to play, Alexyss Newman went to the free throw line and broke the knotted score 50-49. Less than a minute later Escalante gave the National team the edge again at 51-50.

Ajae Yoakum added two points, Newman added two from the charity stripe and a minute later added a field goal Catarina Ferreira added two more a minute later, 56-52.

The team from Mexico could only manage two trips to the free throw line hitting one for two in the final minute, Singleton, however, was two for two from the line with 10 seconds left, giving the Monsters the 58-52 win.

In the first quarter of the final game of the night the Monster men’s team got out to a 16-9 lead bolstered by a pair of dunks by a pair of freshman, the first put down Lorenzo Caldwell, the second by Reyce Allen. The National team came on strong and tied things up at 21-21 at the 9:14 mark.

When tied again, 23-23, the team from Mexico started to turn up the full court pressure making it difficult for the Monsters to advance the ball up the court.

At 6:14 the visitors took their first lead of the game, 27-26; three minutes later they had built a 37-30 lead on EAC.

The Monsters were able to tie things up again at 38-38 when Zavian Jackson sank a pair of free throws with 45 ticks left on the clock.

All tied up again at 40-40, the coach from Mexico stopped the clock at :09.5 left in the half, six seconds later Mexico’s Gibran Enafael made a pair of free throws to give Mexico team the 43-40 lead at the halftime break.

Trailing 50-44, the Monsters started to narrow the gap starting with two points by Bryce Ware, another dunk by Allen followed by a three-point shot by Mohammed Niang and EAC was up 51-50.

Eastern was able to build a five-point lead at the mid-point of the final quarter, but Mexico stayed close. At 68-63 EAC Coach Maurice Leitzke stopped the clock.

At 7:51 remaining, trailing 72-66, the Mexico team called for timeout at which time they turned up the heat once again on the full court pressure, and it worked. They rattled in five straight buckets while managing to shut down the EAC offense, knotting the score at 76-76.

Tied up again, 83-83 with only 1:16 left to play, EAC flipped the script and the Monster defense was able to play a “foul-less D,” shutting the visitors down while picking up six unanswered points, 91-83.

Following a timeout at 2:25, Mexico did pick up two points, 91-85 with 10 seconds left. Another National timeout, this with on seven ticks on the clock, and Daniel Alejandro went hard at the EAC basket. His shot went off the iron and the clock read ZEROs. But wait, after the buzzer it was decided he had been fouled somewhere between .03 and the buzzer. The .03 was put back on the clock and Alejandro went to the charity stipe, again he hit iron. Final score, finally 91-85.

In subsequent games, the women defeated the SAGU American Indian Bible School 83-48 and in another game against Team Mexico, they won 56-50.

In other men’s action, they beat Team Mexico a second time, 103-88.

Men’s basketball hosts New Mexico Military Institute Nov. 9 at 5:30 p.m.

The Gila Monsters host another invitational Thursday-Saturday.

They’ll be playing against Morton College (IL) on Thursday at 7 p.m.

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