JJ Nakai’s big night wasn’t enough to extend the season for the Pima women’s basketball team. In Harrison, Arkansas, the sixth-seeded Aztecs lost 82-68 on Wednesday night to No. 3 seed Kansas City Community College (Kansas) in the NJCAA Division II Tournament quarterfinals.
Nakai, a sophomore and Pima’s all-time leading scorer, scored 32 points on 10 for 23 shooting, and contributed eight rebounds, six steals and four assists. But Pima couldn’t come back from being outscored 23-7 in the second quarter. The Aztecs used a 16-4 run in the fourth to cut their deficit to 10 with 1:29 left, but that was as close as they would get.
Kansas City jumped out to a 36-20 halftime lead after dominating the glass for 12 offensive rebounds.
“The second quarter got away from us but we knew it was going to be a fight,” Pima coach Todd Holthaus said.
Hallie Lawson finished with 10 points and fellow freshman Alyssa Perez had nine points and eight rebounds for Pima.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the effort,” Holthaus said. “The ladies stayed in the fight; doing the little things we asked and the things we take pride in every day.”
Pima will continue in the consolation bracket, with its next game coming at 1 p.m. Thursday against the No. 2 seed North Iowa Area Community College.