Aukward's threes lift Mesa women over South Plains,

Aukward's threes lift Mesa women over South Plains,

  SCOTTSDALE, AZ - Janessa Aukward (So., Phoenix, Sierra Linda H.S.), hit a string of three-pointers in the third quarter to help lift the Mesa women to a 48-45 win over South Plains at the Bill Culver Memorial Tournament at Scottsdale C.C. Tuesday.

  The win lifts MCC to 6-7 on the year going into a Wednesday game against Lake Region at Scottsdale at 4:00 p.m. The Texans are now 10-5.

  Aukward made three of her six three-pointers in the third quarter to lift Mesa from a 26-19 halftime deficit to a 36-36 tie at the end of three. MCC had almost been shutout in the entire second quarter, hitting only a three-pointer in the final minute after holding a 16-15 lead at the end of the first period.

  But Aukward came out of the break on fire, scoring a total of 11 of her game-high 20 points in the third period.

  Mesa tied the score at 32, and was still even at 40-40 when Aukward made her final three to lift the T-Birds to a 43-40 lead they would never relinquish.

  The Texans stayed close and cut the margin to 46-45 on a long three-pointer by Elizabeth Cera with 25.6 seconds remaining.

  But Brianna Clah (So., Chinle, AZ/Many Farms H.S.) hit two clutch free throws with 12.9 seconds to play to help seal the Mesa win. 

  Taylor Reed (So., Kingman, AZ/Kingman H.S.) contributed ten points and Natalie Stilwell (So., Fountain Hills, AZ/Fountain Hills H.S.) added a team-high seven rebounds. Reed also had six rebounds.

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