The Lady T-Birds basketball team won 48-43 in overtime against the Arizona Western Vaqueros on Jan. 8 at Theo J. Heap Gymnasium.
The win puts Mesa’s season record at 11-3 overall, 7-2 in conference play, and 7-1 at home.
Sophomore guard Peace Amukamara led all scorers with 14 points and added six rebounds, five steals, and four assists while playing all 45 minutes.
Sophomore forward Madi Austin scored 13 points, had three steals, and led the Lady T-Birds with seven rebounds in the 43 minutes she played.
The Lady T-Birds as a team had an off shooting night going 14 of 59 and 3 of 17 from three-point range.
“Coach said they would try to trap the wing so the middle would be wide open so we kept in in the middle, but we also got some good threes,” said Amukamara.
The defense forced 25 Vaqueros turnovers, plus held Arizona Western to 18 of 57 on field goals and 4 of 21 three point shooting.
The Lady T-Birds scored their first points after 7:56 elapsed in the first half.
Austin gave the Lady T-Birds their first lead 5-4 when she sank a three-pointer with 10:47 left in the half.
Mesa went into the locker room leading 17-15 at halftime.
In the second half Arizona Western showed they were not going away with a 7-0 scoring run for a 26-21 lead with 13:17 left.
The Lady T-Birds fought back going on a 9-0 run of their own.
There were many momentum swings that ensued, one of them involving the Vaqueros head coach getting a technical foul with 4:47 left and Mesa rallied for 37-35 lead.
Arizona Western then completed a three-point play retaking the lead 39-37 with 4:07 remaining.
Amukamara hit two free throw attempts with 1:01 remaining left in regulation tying the score at 40.
Overtime started with a Mesa 6-0 scoring run.
The Vaqueros cut the Mesa lead to 46-43 with a three-pointer and on their final possession missed another three-pointer and layup.
The Lady T-Birds rebounded and Amukamara was intentionally fouled with 4.7 seconds left.
After Amukamara made both free throws, Mesa stole the ball back to run the clock out for the win.
“We really needed this win so we could get a leg up on the standings and be higher in the seeds,” said freshman guard Lacy Viselli who contributed seven points, six rebounds, five steals, and four assists in 14 minutes off of the bench.
The Lady T-Birds next home game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. tipoff on Jan. 25 at Theo J. Heap Gymnasium against the Phoenix College Bears.