Phoenix College (14-6, 8-4) is playing their best basketball of the season, and they proved it on Saturday evening in a big road win over Glendale Junior College - 90-68. The match-up was an exciting one, as Glendale had won their last 4 games in a row on the season, including a win this week over Pima Junior College. The two teams would face off in a preview of what could become the championship game at season's end for the Division-II title.
Phoenix College, led by the strong leadership of Matt Gordon and his basketball staff, came into Saturday's game with something to prove - looking to make a statement to the conference.
"They were talking before the game," said Phoenix College assistant coach Ryan Mason after the game. "We definitely wanted to make a statement."
The Phoenix College team played the game as if they were on cruise control - sharing and moving the basketball with efficiency and making the plays that they wanted to in the contest. They seemed to get almost every shot they wanted as a team, and playing with excellent confidence. This was one of the Bears' best executed efforts of the season.
After a big 50-point first half and taking a 50-37 halftime advantage over Glendale Phoenix College would not slow down in the second half, while Glendale would struggle on both ends of the floor to get anything going.
While Glendale's 6-foot-5 sophomore wing Ronald March has had many scoring outburst this junior college season, he would struggle a great deal from the floor on Saturday - shooting 3 for 11 from the field and 1 of 5 from three-point distance in the game. March would finish with just 11 points in the game, while he has averaged 25.4 points per/game this season. March also had his worst shooting game of the season in a previous loss to Phoenix College. With Phoenix College 6-foot-2 sophomore guard Bryce Gosar draped all over him during the game, March would be ineffective throughout the game.
Phoenix College would utilize a big scoring burst in the second half to blow the game wide open. After the start of the second half, Phoenix College would get a three-pointer from 6-foot-5 freshman forward Derreck Brooks, a driving layup from 5-foot-9 freshman guard Brandon Brown, another layup from 6-foot-5 sophomore Brandon Pineda-Morales and then another layup from Gosar to put the Bears ahead 63-47 with 16:01 left to play in the second half.
With Glendale ice cold from the field, Phoenix would then push their lead to 70-44 with 13:34 left to play in the second half. After a long three-pointer from Brandon Brown with 1 minute left to play in the game, Phoenix College would cruise to a big, 90-68 victory.
Phoenix College would get a big performance from three of their starters as Brandon Pineda-Morales would finish with a game high 23 points, Derreck Brooks would score 21 points and Brandon Brown would finish with 19 points and 10 assists. Glendale would get a team-high 15 points from 6-foot-9 sophomore post Jordan Didier in the loss.