T-Birds Start Fast, Crumble Late in Loss to Big Bend, 92-89

Austin Denham (White #2) scored a season high 27 points in Mesa's loss to Big Bend Thursday night at the Fiesta Bowl Junior College Shootout. (photo by Aaron Webster)
Austin Denham (White #2) scored a season high 27 points in Mesa's loss to Big Bend Thursday night at the Fiesta Bowl Junior College Shootout. (photo by Aaron Webster)

Mesa, AZ - The Mesa Thunderbirds switched the lineup around for their game against Big Bend Thursday night for the Fiesta Bowl Junior College Shootout and it looked to be paying dividends early on but Mesa couldn't complete the victory.  The T-Birds dropped their second contest of the tournament, 92-89.

When saying they started quick, Mesa jumped out to a 17-0 lead to start the game.  Austin Denham had a career night, scoring 27 points on 9-15 shooting, connecting on 6-11 three pointers.  Noe Anabir contributed a double-double, scoring 13 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.

It was Denham and Anabir, along with Edward Hardt, Brent Kimbrel and Antwan Ross-Jones that used fast breaks and tough defense to help Mesa to such a large first half lead.

But it was a huge Big Bend second half that did Mesa in.  Connecting on 10 three pointers and shooting 57 percent (19-33) from the field helped the Running Vikes from Washington overcome Mesa's large lead.

With the loss, Mesa has now dropped their third straight game, dating back to last week against Arizona Western.  They will play Friday afternoon against Benedictine Mesa JV in the seventh place game at 2 p.m.

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