Mats First Home Tilts of 2019 Bring Bears

Arizona Western College Basketball returns to Yuma for the first time in 2019 Wednesday night as the Matadors host the Phoenix College Bears for a Women’s and Men’s doubleheader at The House.

The Lady Mats will kick things off at 5:30 pm MST against Phoenix with the Men scheduled to follow at 7:30 pm MST.

The Lady Mats (5-10, 3-4 ACCAC) are coming off a complete victory Saturday in Tempe over South Mountain in which Arizona Western held South Mountain to just 7 points in the first quarter and doubled their opponents in the first half. On the offensive end of the floor, the Matadors shot a season high 54% including a spectacular 50% from three point range.

Freshman Forward Mar Ibern led the effort with a 17 point, 10 rebound performance including a perfect 3-3 shooting night from beyond the arc. Ibern is excelling in conference play averaging 18 points and 8 rebounds per game.

Despite coming off the bench, Sophomore Guard Mone Izumi is second on the Mats to Ibern in scoring with 8.9 points per game and is third on the team in minutes played, facilitating the offense from the point for much of that time.

Phoenix (3-12, 1-6 ACCAC) comes in on a slide, having lost 9 of 10 and their last five consecutive contests. Among their struggles has been valuing the basketball as the Bears are averaging over 20 turnover per game, the most of any ACCAC school.

But their backcourt has the ability to make up for the turnovers with their long range. Sophomore Guards Vanessa Veloz and Chloe Warrington are combining for 20 PPG as they shoot a combined 34% from three. Freshman center Alyssa Marin adds 9.3 ppg.

The second game of the double-header will feature somewhat of a unique matchup despite some similarities.

While the saying goes, “Don’t Poke the Bear”, the Phoenix College Bears will arrive in Yuma pre-poked on Wednesday night.

Officially, the Bears have won their last four contests but are just 1-6 in ACCAC play due to forfeiting the five games prior to their winning streak. Phoenix also boasts the reigning ACCAC player of the week in Sophomore Forward Darrius Goudeau. Goudeau is leading the conference in scoring at 20.6 PPG and is third in rebounding averaging 9.4 boards per game.

Around Goudeau, the Bears look to cause chaos with even more outside shooting. Sophomore Deron Kyle is second on the team (to Goudeau) in both three pointers made and attempted. The Bears have made and attempted more three’s than any other ACCAC school this season.

While the Mats will have their hands full with arguably the hottest team in the conference, they have been playing plenty of good basketball on their own and enter Wednesday night’s game in a four-way tie for second place-just a game back of conference leaders Chandler-Gilbert.

AWC is coming off of a complete effort Saturday in a 93-67 win over South Mountain. Sophomore Guard Alfonzo Plummer led the way with 28 points, including a whopping six three pointers. Bryson Langdon added four more treys.

The defensive effort was anchored by seven blocks from Abderahammane Hailouf and five steals from Cash Williams.

The Women tip things off at 5:30 pm and the Men are scheduled for a 7:30pm start immediately following the Women. Tickets are only $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and military members. Children 12 and under and AWC students and staff (with current school ID) get in for FREE!

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 2,300 certificates and degrees in 2016-17.


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