PHOENIX, AZ - The Mesa men's basketball team was unable to completely overcome a slow start to the second half, and fell on the road to South Mountain Saturday, 80-73.
Trailing just 41-39 at the break, the T-Birds (10-12, 9-8) quickly slipped behind by nine, 52-43, in the first four minutes of the second half.
Still trailing, 66-57 with seven minutes to play, MCC mounted a comeback and drew even at 66-66 on a layup by Ed Hardt (Fr., Phoenix, AZ/Deer Valley H.S.) at the 3:58 mark.
Mesa still trailed by just four with 2:16 left on a three-point play by Obi Megwa (Fr., Phoenix, AZ/Central H.S.). But, SMCC (15-10, 11-6) connected on nine of ten free throws down the stretch to secure the win.
Megwa also had seven rebounds and six assists to pace MCC in those categories.
The T-Birds will host Pima on Wednesday at Theo Heap Gym at 7:30 p.m.