Mesa, AZ - The Mesa Thunderbirds women's basketball team used a dominate second half to take down Arizona Western, 55-53, at Theo Heap Gym Thursday night.
In a playoff like atmosphere, with teams competing like it was their final game of their lives, the T-Birds and Matadors showed how great women's basketball really is.
Quynne Huggins led Mesa with 26 points and seven rebounds. Huggins shot 10-24 from the field, 6-12 from three.
Both teams went back and forth all game but it was Western who kept the slight edge on the lead. The Matadors led after the first quarter, 12-8.
The T-Birds did start to fall behind just a bit in the second quarter, going down 20-10 with seven and half minutes to gobut 11 Tori Lloyd points, nine of which came from behind the arc, helped Mesa trim the lead to 26-23. Lloyd finished with 11 points, seven assists, three steals and four rebounds.
In the second half, Mesa used their post Allies Fuller to scratch back into the game. With Takara Wade, Fuller and Wade used the pick and roll to take advantage of the Matadors pressuring defense. Fuller finished with 11 points and six rebounds on the night.
Along with the Fuller-Wade pick and roll combo, Huggins lit up the outside when the defense would slack away, with Huggins connecting on four three pointers in the third quarter alone. With the Mesa offense attacking on all fronts, the T-Birds took a 47-42 lead into the fourth quarter.
Mesa kept the offensive attack going into the fourth quarter, scoring the first six points, four points coming from Huggins jump shots and two free throws from Fuller.
The T-Birds used stingy defense to close out the game, at one point staying the Western offensive side of the ball for more than two minutes.
With the victory, Mesa moves to 9-0 overall and 5-0 in the conference. Through the first nine games of the season, the T-Birds are averaging 67.1 points per game, shooting close to 40 percent from the field.
Mesa will have a few weeks off before playing in the Bill Culver Classic at Scottsdale Community College December 28-29.