Men's Basketball | 02/03/2008

Cheriet named ACCAC Men's Basketball Player of the Week

Matadors' sophomore forward leads AWC to two big wins last week

Yuma, Arizona February 4, 2008 -- Arizona Western College is proud to announce that AWC Men's Basketball player Mehdi Cheriet has been named as the ACCAC Division I Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the week ending February 3rd. Cheriet is the 2nd Matador to earn that honor, following the lead of fellow starting forward Sean Imadiyi, who won the inaugural award of the season back in early December. The announcement comes just two days after Cheriet helped lead the Matadors to a hard-earned 87-74 victory at Prescott over Yavapai College Saturday night.

The award signals how far Cheriet has come in recovering from a serious ankle sprain he suffered in early December. The injury-suffered December 8th in Douglas against Cochise College-sent Cheriet to the sidelines for four weeks (which, fortunately, for the Matadors, meant missing only three games thanks to the holiday break). Cheriet returned to action January 4th, and has remained the solid force that prompted San Diego State Head Men's Basketball Coach Steve Fisher to sign Cheriet to an official letter of intent in November. In fact, despite not having full movement on the ankle, Cheriet has still scored in double figures in 8 of the 10 games that he's played in since the injury. However, last week, the defensive movement and the spring in his step on his 3-point shot attempts really showed how close Cheriet is to being 100%. On Wednesday against defending Region I DII Champion Phoenix College, Cheriet went to work behind the 3-point arc immediately, hitting 3 treys in the first 8 minutes of play, and finishing the game with 5 3-pointers and 17 points overall in the 101-63. He also pulled down 8 rebounds against the Bears. He followed that up Saturday with a strong performance against gritty Yavapai in Prescott, pouring in 17 points (including 2 more 3-point bombs) and ripping down 6 boards in an 87-74 victory. Because of those performances, Cheriet has moved into the ACCAC Top 25 in scoring at 12.8 points per game. He's also now the 6th-best 3-point shooter in the league at 47.4%.

Cheriet and the Matadors now get ready to renew their great rivalry with the team that Cheriet was injured against in December, the Cochise Apaches, who will make their way to Yuma this Wednesday night for a men's-women's basketball doubleheader at 'The House'. The Lady Matadors will tip off Pilkington Construction Night and Pizza Hut of Yuma Night at 5:30PM with Cheriet and the 12th-ranked men's Matadors taking the floor at 7:30PM. Admission to the doubleheader is $5 for adults, $3 for military personnel (with valid military ID), seniors and students ages 12-17, and free for AWC students, NAU-Yuma students, Matador Athletic Association members and kids under the age of 12.

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