Men's Basketball | 02/16/2021
MBB: Hargrove, Butts Power #18 Matadors Past Central
YUMA, Ariz---A hot start and consistent shooting, including double-digit performances from Evan Butts and Marquis Hargrove, staked the #18 Arizona Western Matadors (7-1 overall, 6-1 ACCAC) to a lead they would not relinquish in a 75-63 victory over the Central Arizona Vaqueros (0-4 overall, 0-3 ACCAC) Tuesday night at The House.
Butts hit a couple of early three's, Hargrove was consistent with 16 points and 9 rebounds and Leo Gerardo chipped in 14 points, including eight down the stretch as the Matadors sealed at least a split of the season series with the Vaqueros.
Central got off to an even hotter start than the Matadors hitting their first four shots, before the Matador defense buckled down.
Central's Shakeil Bertrand started to shake free for a couple of buckets before two quick fouls sent him to the bench.
Butts and Hargrove found their grove while Malik Salahuddin dished out four first half assists and the reigning ACCAC Player of the Week, James Dunlop tossed in some early points.
But the early three's were a big part of Arizona Western's attack and opened up the driving lines. The Matadors began to earn trips to the free-throw line and converted. Eight different players got to the line with Gerardo going 4-5 to lead the way. In all, the Mats shot just under 80% from the stripe while Central was just 12-22 on the night.
The Matador three-point defense was also much improved holding Central to just 5 of 23 from deep, 21% on the evening.
Arizona Western will hit the road on Saturday to take on Cochise at 4:00pm
The game will be live-streamed by the Cochise Athletic Department.