YUMA, Ariz. – Despite early foul-trouble to their leading scorers, the Arizona Western Matadors built a cushion around familiar faces before holding onto a 76-69 win over the Grays Harbor Chokers Saturday night to complete the 2019 Desert Classic.
The Matadors controlled most of the first half as Cash Williams’ thirteen points and five assists sparked the offense to a nine point advantage at the break.
AWC also held off the Chokers in the first half by snagging the edge on the glass with Lawrence Long and Pharoh Allah combining for seven boards off of the bench.
The Matadors ballooned the advantage to as much as 17 in the second half as Williams continued his hot shooting while also attacking the boards.
Despite foul trouble in the first half, Daniel Kiely joined the attack as well doling out six assists in the second half.
But the Chokers pulled close behind Zyare Ruffin and Malachi McLaurin, who in addition to scoring at the free-throw line, helped foul out a pair of Matadors. Jalen Townsell fouled out with seven minutes to go. Tyrell Tidey, who had 13 points, fouled out with 3:42.
The Chokers made it a three point game but the Matadors found James Dunlop inside. Dunlop’s first shot was altered, but he grabbed the offensive rebound and scored. Just one possession later, Dunlop grabbed another offensive board and cashed it in to give the Matadors enough insurance to close out the game.
Arizona Western improves to 4-2 and will have the week off before heading to Thatcher, AZ next Saturday to play Little Priest. The Matadors will then turn their attention to the conference hosting Central Arizona at The House on November 20th.
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.