YUMA, Ariz. – A slow start put the Arizona Western College women’s basketball team behind after 10 minutes on Saturday night. The team rallied to start the second quarter and grabbed a lead it would never relinquish in a 65-45 win against Glendale Community College.
AWC (20-7, 15-4 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) was down 15-13 at the start of the second quarter after only shooting 35% from the floor in the first quarter. Mathilde Diop powered an 11-2 run by pouring in eight points to put the Lady Mats up 24-17 halfway through the quarter.
The Lady Mats also turned up the defensive pressure and forced nine turnovers while only allowing seven points.
Glendale (10-16 overall, 6-13 ACCAC) cut the lead to 24-20, but Rei Imamura drained an open three off a pass from Brianna White to push the lead back to seven. Sederia Carter sent AWC into the half with a 30-22 lead after hitting two free throws.
Diop gave AWC its first double digit lead early in the third quarter. She grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to make it 32-22. After Maria Marquez knocked down a three, Diop hit another layup that extended the lead to 15. Marquez finished with nine points.
Glendale’s Jordyn Kesler-Kline got hot and single-handedly trimmed the lead to single digits when she reeled off eight straight points to make it 39-30. She finished with 15 on the night.
Audrey Mulumba pushed the AWC lead back to double digits after hitting a layup while being fouled. She hit the free throw for a 42-30 lead, and Marquez hit her second three of the quarter to make it 45-30. The two sides traded buckets for the remaining 3:30 of the third quarter, and the Lady Mats led 52-38 to start the fourth.
The AWC defense locked down and left no doubt about the outcome over the final 10 minutes by only allowing seven points. On offense, Gloria Mulumba scored three straight points for a 60-40 lead halfway through the frame. Ten players scored on the night for the Lady Mats.
At the start of the game, Arizona Western led early. Diop hit a three for a 5-2 lead, and the Lady Mats maintained the lead for the next four minutes.
Glendale managed to tie the score at nine and 11 before Alexis Smith hit two free throws to put GCC up 13-11. After White hit a layup to tie the game, Glendale’s Mary Faulkner hit a baseline jumper for a 15-13 lead with 1:10 to go in the quarter.
The Lady Mats head out to Scottsdale Community College on Wednesday, February 22. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 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.