By: Joshua Gerard Gargiulo
PHOENIX - After a toughly-contested first half, Men’s Basketball finds hot hands in Darius Goudeau, Tre Mitchell, and Cristiano Gomes to put the Vaqueros of Central Arizona away, 100-86.
The teams combined for fourteen points in the first two minutes before settling down; the score was near-even at 15-14, four minutes in.
6’9 Big-man, Cristiano Gomes made his presence felt with his first collegiate Double-Double (16 pts, 10 reb). After registering only one assist and one rebound in his first stint; Gomes exploded during the latter-part of the first half, adding eight points and a few more rebounds to his stat line.
Despite the valiant effort of Gomes and his counter-parts, the Bears could not shake the pesky Vaqueros. Central Arizona’s JC Canahuate and Richard Polanco led the late-charge, which brought Central within five- at half.
Canahuate and Polanco picked up right where they left off in half one, but Phoenix College’s Darius Goudeau had other plans than to let the Vaqueros back in so easily; including a four-point play that kick-started the second half scoring. With their lead extending to nine, five minutes in, Gomes and fellow-teammate Deron Kyle extended that lead even more.
In a strategically-played chess match, the second half of action quickly turned into breakneck offense from both sides.
Despite such a fast-paced speed in-game, action was slowed by a slew of fouls from Central and Phoenix with 10:00 remaining. Subsequently, another fourteen-points were scored in a two-minute span.
One would not say the game was “chippy,” more than “competitive.” Simply put, the Vaqueros began to notice their time running-out, and the Bears suddenly realized the opportunity presented to them. It was time to “lay it on the line.” Both offenses’ and defenses’ intensity picked-up. Coach Eason resorted to his main-stay in the traditional “Full-Court Press,” where Central moved to a modern-day “Half-Court Trap.”
In the final five it seemed like every player on Phoenix College got their share, as Eason began to spread the floor, in an effort to “kill the clock.”
The choice proved fruitful as it not only did its job, but also exposed a key-weakness in Central Arizona’s defense: The ability to guard the spread. Heavy motion on the offensive-end, by multiple PC players, exposed the holes in the Vaquero’s defense. It effectively put the game out of reach.
With both teams trading buckets merely to accommodate the shot-clock; Phoenix College quietly dribbled-out the ball, in the closing moments, for a 100-86 home-win.
Tre Mitchell was the high-man with 24 points and 10 assists, and 8-9 from the line.
Darius Goudeau managed to post a +15 in 36:08 with 17 points, and supplemented those points with 12 total rebounds. Earning him his 15th Double-Double of the season.