PHOENIX, Ariz. – Down big early, the Arizona Western Matadors (11-5 overall, 5-3 ACCAC) comeback attempt came up short in an 88-81 loss to the Phoenix College Bears (10-6 overall, 4-4 ACCAC) Wednesday night at the Bear’s Den.
The Mats were down big after scoring the game’s first bucket. Phoenix took off behind 15 points from Jaran Whitfield, who hit four three’s and knocked down all three of his free-throws.
Treyvon McCray proved to be the balance to Phoenix’s outside excellence, knocking down a bevy of shots in the paint for 14 points in the first half.
Arizona Western closed the first half with a bit more offense but faced a 45-29 deficit at the break.
The Matadors came out firing in the second half behind Jalen Townsell, who had the first eight points of the period. That jumpstarted the Matador offense that dug out of the 16 point hole by midway through the half.
Daniel Kiely scored 18 of his points in the second half, finishing with 22. And Gio Nelson found his way into the paint for 17.
But McCray proved tough to guard, finishing with 13 more points and Shemar Wilson had 13 of his 17 in the second half.
The Matadors took multiple leads late, but a foul against AWC with the score 80-79 Phoenix, allowed the Bears to seal the game at the line and on defense to close it out 88-81.
It’s the third loss for AWC in the last four games as they run into a pair of talented teams to close out the first go-around of conference action.
The Matadors return home for a pair of games in the next week. Hosting Glendale on Saturday at 4:00pm and Eastern Arizona next Wednesday night at 7:30pm.
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.