In a game that totalled 62 fouls and 94 foul shots, the Mesa Community College men's basketball team (13-6, 8-4 ACCAC) used freshman Adonis Arms' career-high 27 points to outlast the South Mountain Community College Cougars (9-11, 1-11 ACCAC) by a score of 97-82 at Theo Heap Gymnasium in Mesa on Wednesday night.
Even though South Mountain freshmen Bryan Battle and James Sosinski combined for 33 points and 10 rebounds, the Thunderbirds were able to shoot 56-percent from the field and sophomore Jamil Wilson-Jones assisted in Arms' career night with 16 points and 12 assists of his own to help garner a Mesa victory.
The game may have started with an opening layup from South Mountain's sophomore Desmond Johnson, but the Thunderbirds then broke out on a 10-0 scoring run to take a 10-2 lead just three minutes into the game.
The Cougars were able to cut the Mesa lead to 18-16 behind some sound shooting from sophomore RJ Sneed and freshman Ferron Flavors, but the Thunderbirds finished the first half on a 18-4 run with a big help from Arms' back-to-back three-point baskets to give Mesa the lead at the half, 36-20.
Coming out in the second half, the Thunderbirds continued to stay hot from the field as their largest lead of the game increased to 59-42 on an Arms' layup with 10:28 to play in the game.
The Thunderbirds stay in control for most of the remainder of the game, but with less than three minutes to play, 9 points from Johnson helped the Cougars cut the Mesa lead to just 5 points, 84-79.
A couple of three-pointers from sophomore Trevor Davies allowed South Mountain to stay in the game, but a strong finish from Arms and sophomore Noe Anabir solidified the win for the Thunderbirds, 97-82.
The Thunderbirds will next be in action this Saturday when they head west to take on the Glendale Community College Gauchos for an anticipated start time of 4:00 p.m. MST.