YUMA, Ariz. – A hot start coupled with a strong finish propelled the Arizona Western College men’s basketball team on Saturday night. The Mats took an early double digit lead and made it stick down the stretch in an 80-66 win over Glendale Community College.
Arizona Western (21-6 overall, 14-5 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) stormed out strong from the tip. Lamont Traylor was left alone under the basket for an easy layup to start the game. After a defensive stop, Torin Webb drilled a three, and Andre Jones whipped a pass to Brandon McGhee for a layup. McGhee then went 1-2 at the free throw line, and Traylor hit another shot for a 10-0 lead a couple minutes in. Traylor finished with a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and McGhee added 12 points.
Glendale (16-11 overall, 11-8 ACCAC) scored five straight out of a timeout, but the Matadors kept attacking. A McGhee putback and Dajuan Beard three pushed the lead back to 10, and Chris Famous hit a layup a few minutes later for a 22-9 lead. Beard had 10 points, all in the first half, and four assists.
With 11 minutes to go in the half, Glendale’s Micah Rentrope hit a three that cut the Matador lead to 22-16. McGhee answered with an 18-footer, and Daryl Adams grabbed an offense board and scored to push the lead right back to 10. The Mats grabbed 18 offensive rebounds in the game (nine in each half).
The AWC lead grew to 14 when Adams whipped a pass to Traylor for a layup and a 37-23 lead with 4:20 to go in the half. Glendale managed to close the gap to 41-31 at the half after Jordan McCants knocked down a shot in the paint. He finished with 22 points.
In the second half, Arizona Western had an answer each time Glendale made a run. GCC’s Dominique Martinez hit a layup to trim the Matador lead to 46-39 four and a half minutes into the half, but Webb answered with a bucket. He led the Mats with 21 points.
Glendale trimmed the lead to 50-45 a few minutes later, but Webb drained the only three for either side in the second half to push the lead back to eight. McCants attacked the basket and scored four straight, but Traylor answered each time to keep an eight point lead.
Chris Famous put the Matadors up 60-50 halfway through the half. He hit a layup while being fouled and knocked down the free throw. The lead hovered around 10 for the next seven minutes.
Glendale cut the lead inside 10 one last time when Trevan Newman scored with less than three minutes to play, but Webb answered with a layup and foul on the fast break. He hit the free throw for a 72-61 lead.
From that point on, the Mats knocked down free throws to seal the game while limiting Glendale. AWC forced GCC to shoot 2-19 from the three-point line in the game.
The Mats are headed to Scottsdale on Wednesday, February 22. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 pm, and 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.