YUMA, Ariz. – A timeout recharged the Arizona Western College men’s basketball team in the first half against Chandler-Gilbert on Saturday night. Down one, the Mats hit the afterburners and left Chandler-Gilbert behind en route to a 27 point halftime lead in a 91-57 win.
After Matador coach Charles Harral called the timeout with his team down 16-15, Torin Webb ignited the run. He hit a layup and followed it with a layup through a foul. The sophomore hit the free throw to put AWC (23-6 overall, 16-5 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) up 20-16. Those five points were the tip of the iceberg during a 26-3 run over the next five minutes. Webb poured in a career best 30 points for AWC on the evening.
Daryl Adams hit back-to-back three’s that pushed the lead to 39-19 during the run, and Tyler Motley capped it with a jumper for a 22 point lead. Adams finished with 14 points in the first half and 21 for the game. Seven players scored for the Mats during the run.
Chandler-Gilbert (13-16 overall, 8-13 ACCAC) didn’t have an answer through the rest of the first half. The Coyotes only shot 34% from the floor, and AWC forced 10 turnovers. The Mats led 53-26 at the break.
CGCC made a break for it after halftime. In the first three minutes, the Coyotes scored eight straight to cut the lead to 19 points. Adams hit a pair of free throws to stem the tide.
The two teams traded buckets for a few minutes, and Chandler-Gilbert managed to cut the lead to 60-43. Burke Twyman hit a three from the corner to push the lead back to 20.
Twyman’s three got the Mats back on track, and AWC pushed the lead to 69-45 after Famous assisted on two straight Webb buckets. Chandler-Gilbert’s Kendrick Gannon was whistled for a flagrant foul with 11 minutes to play, and it deflated the Coyotes.
Shortly thereafter, the AWC lead grew to more than 30. With a couple minutes to play, the Mats led 91-50 before Chandler-Gilbert scored the final seven points of the game.
The win keeps the Mats in the hunt for the top seed in the Region I playoffs. The team entered the night tied with Cochise College. The race will come down to the final game on Tuesday. Arizona Western heads to Pima Community College, and tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 pm. The game will be broadcast on 560 AM KBLU.
Arizona Western College is one of the top community colleges in Arizona. The college boasts partnerships with all three state universities that include face-to-face classes in Yuma. AWC leads the state in enrollment growth over the past 10 years and handed out more than 2,400 certificates and degrees in 2015-16.