Mesa, AZ - It took some time for the #7 Mesa Thunderbirds to get their groove in the ACCAC DII / Region I semi-final game against Phoenix College, but when they found their groove, they were tough to stop.
The T-Birds beat the Bears Tuesday night at Theo Heap Gym, 70-49, in front of a packed crowd.
Leading Mesa on the night was Allies Fuller, Takara Wade and Sham Troupe. Fuller finished with a dozen rebounds and points while Wade finished with a dozen points of her own, while dishing out five assists and grabbing five rebounds. Troupe finished the night with 11 points and seven rebounds.
Like PC always does, they came ready to play against the T-Birds. The Bears beat Mesa in the final game of the regular season at Phoenix College and the idea of beating the #7 team in the country again in just a week's time was never far from their minds.
The Bears grabbed a quick 10-4 advantage to start the game and led after the first quarter, 13-12.
A Deja Dagons three pointer and a Tori Lloyd layup quickly moved Mesa ahead to start the second quarter, 17-13. But the Bears riddled off 10 straight points to regain a 23-17 advantage with five minutes left in the half.
Starting the second half, both teams exchanged buckets till about the 3 minute mark, when tied at 38, Mesa exploded on a 10-1 run to finish the third quarter. The T-Birds not only took a nine point lead into the fourth quarter but they had seized complete momentum for the rest of the game.
Mesa outscored Phoenix College in the fourth quarter, 22-10, and 45-20 for the entire second half.
The T-Birds shot 38 percent from the field for the game while the Bears shot just 22 percent. The T-Birds out-rebounded the Bears 50-28 and the T-Birds scored 38 points in the paint, to just six points for the Bears.
With the victory, #1 seed Mesa will host #2 Pima, who beat Scottsdale, 86-76, in yet another conference championship game, the fourth time in five years these two have battled for the conference tournament crown.
The ACCAC DII / Region I championship game will be played on Saturday, March 11th at Theo Heap Gym, with a 7:30 pm start time.