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Photo by Bruce Battle
Photo by Bruce Battle

SMCC Basketball Celebrates Sophomore Night with Win over Mesa CC


The South Mountain Community College men's basketball team defeated Mesa CC 79-71 in an ACCAC contest at the SMCC Gym on Wednesday, Feb. 21. Sophomore Jaylen Wesley led all players with 32 points and 14 rebounds, freshman Bobby Holcomb added 14, and freshman Parker Escalante finished with 10 as the Cougars celebrated Sophomore Night by defeating the Thunderbirds to claim the season series. 

Having split their previous two meetings at MCC, the Cougars and Thunderbirds battled to remain in the hunt for a postseason berth. SMCC led 45-37 at halftime as Wesley had 20 points and nine rebounds, and the Cougars shot 55.6 percent (15 of 27) from the field and 87.5 percent (14 of 16) from the free-throw line. 

The second half saw things tighten as both teams hovered around 50 percent from the field. In the end, each would score 34 points in the frame, and the Cougars held on for the eight-point victory. SMCC finished at 51.9 percent (28 of 54) from the floor and added 33 rebounds, six assists, nine steals, and four blocks. 

Wesley was 13 of 24 from the field and 5 of 6 from the charity stripe in 40 minutes. Thirteen of his 14 rebounds were on the defensive boards, and he led SMCC with four assists. 

Holcomb was 5 of 11 from the floor and made four free throws in 27 minutes. Escalante made 8 of 11 free-throw attempts and added four rebounds and two steals in 38 minutes. 

Sophomore Nyzhir Brown finished with eight points, two rebounds, one assist, and one steal in 31 minutes, and freshman Jayven Driscoll added seven points, four boards, and a steal. 

Freshman Torian Gant came off the bench to post eight points, two rebounds, two steals, and one assist in 15 minutes.