Cates drills game-winning three-ball as Aztecs women's basketball topple Central Arizona College

Sophomore Bree Cates hit the game-winning three-pointer with 2.6 seconds left in Pima's 93-90 win over Central Arizona College. It was the first time in program history the Aztecs had swept the Vaqueras in the regular season. Pima is 21-6 overall and 15-5 in ACCAC conference play. Photo by Ben Carbajal.
Sophomore Bree Cates hit the game-winning three-pointer with 2.6 seconds left in Pima's 93-90 win over Central Arizona College. It was the first time in program history the Aztecs had swept the Vaqueras in the regular season. Pima is 21-6 overall and 15-5 in ACCAC conference play. Photo by Ben Carbajal.

The Pima Community College women's basketball team (21-6, 15-5 in ACCAC) did something that has never been done in program history on Wednesday against Central Arizona College (18-9, 13-7).

The No. 5 ranked Aztecs defeated the Vaqueras 93-90 earning a regular season sweep for the first time ever. Pima won 96-85 last month in Coolidge.

With the game tied at 90-90 with 13.3 seconds left, the Aztecs moved the ball until sophomore Bree Cates broke free and drained a three-pointer with 2.6 left on the clock. The Vaqueras missed the desperation attempt as time expired.

The Aztecs trailed for much of the game and were down by as much as 10 points at 53-43 in the third quarter. They chipped away at the Central Arizona's lead and took an 80-79 advantage with 3:04 left in the game after sophomore Denesia Smith's (Cienega HS) layup. Their victory margin was Pima's largest lead of the game.

The Aztecs had dropped last second buzzer beaters to Mesa Community College and Cochise College earlier this season.

"We stayed together and kept fighting. It was our time and we were due for sure," Cates said. "We knew shots go to the corners and Nesi (Smith) had a great ball fake and I took the shot."

Cates scored 19 of her 23 points in the second half on 10 for 17 shooting. Sophomore Sydni Stallworth finished with 21 points and six assists while Smith scored 17 points on 7 for 10 shooting.

"We kept our composure and stayed tough," Pima coach Todd Holthaus said. "We've lost a couple of close games that way this season. It was our turn to pull one out. I'm very proud of the ladies and happy for them."

The Aztecs will go into their game at Mesa on Saturday tied for the No. 1 seed with two regular season games left. Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m.

"Mesa will be tough. We've got to get out on their shooters and play tough defense. Our defense has gotten better since the last time we faced them," Cates said.

The Aztecs lost to the Thunderbirds 84-81 on a last-second shot last month at the West Campus.

CAC     24     21     21     24     90
PCC      20     19     23     31     93