YUMA, Ariz. – Wednesday night, Dajuan Beard was in the zone for the Arizona Western College men’s basketball team. Beard piled up a whopping 32 points while making eight of nine three’s, and the Matadors (10-6 overall, 5-3 ACCAC) dropped Glendale Community College (6-9 overall, 1-7 ACCAC) 115-81. Five players finished with double figures as the Mats shot 54% from the floor.
Beard started the game on fire, and the Mats never trailed. The sophomore guard scored eight of the team’s first 12 points as Arizona Western jumped out to a 12-2 lead less than four minutes in.
The lead grew to 20 points almost halfway through the half when Ezekiel Alley sank two free throws to make it 30-10.
Glendale finally started to get in a rhythm on offense, and the Gauchos used a 15-4 run to close the gap. Ryan Sedig made a layup that cut the Matador lead to 34-25 with 7:40 to go in the half.
Beard answered with a three off a pass from Brandon McGhee, and Alfonso Plummer made two free throws for a 39-25 advantage.
The Gauchos managed to get within single digits again with five straight points, but Trevon Booker scored off an offensive rebound for AWC. Glendale answered with a bucket, but Plummer made a pair of free throws. Beard then whipped a sidearm pass to Brandon McGhee in transition for a layup, and the Mats maintained a double digit lead for the remainder of the night. At the half, the Mats led 52-39.
In the second half, Glendale never got closer than 13 points. The Matador defense played well enough early, and the offense was humming. AWC shot 60% from the floor and went 21-29 from the free throw line to close things out.
Booker finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots. Plummer added 15 points and two steals, and Alley had 13 points, six rebounds and seven assists. Andre Allen scored 11 points and added five rebounds.
Glendale’s Kireed Johnson led his team with 25 points.
AWC heads to Scottsdale Community College on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:00 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on 560 AM KBLU. The pre-game show goes live at 3:50 p.m.
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.