THATCHER, Ariz---The Arizona Western Matadors (5-2) final non-conference tune-up proved to be a valuable lesson in resilience, holding off the Little Priest Tribal College Warriors (3-3) 86-82 Saturday afternoon in the Guitteau Gymnasium at Eastern Arizona College.
An early lead for Arizona Western proved vital as the Matadors shot 55% from the field in the first half and held a five point advantage.
Daniel Kiely led the Matadors in scoring for the fourth time this season, eclipsing 20 points on 10/16 shooting.
But Arizona Western had trouble putting Little Priest away as the Warriors hit seven of their ten three-pointers in the second half and shot 73% from the field as they outscored AWC 49-48 in the period. In all, the Warriors hit eleven three-pointers to hang around.
The Matadors had their recipe to close out the game as they were plus-17 on the glass, including 23 offensive rebounds that led to 22 second chance points. Kiely also led the Matadors in rebounding with 12 to complete the double-double. Gio Nelson also registered a double-double with 11 points and 11 boards.
Cash Williams rounded out the double figure scorers with 14 points for Arizona Western.
AWC returns home on Wednesday night to open conference play against Central Arizona (3-1) Wednesday night at The House in Yuma. The game tips off at 7:30pm, approximately 20 minutes after the conclusion of the women's game. Tickets are $5, students get in free with I.D. The game will also be livestreamed via AWC TV with pre-game beginning ten minutes before the tip.
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.