YUMA, Ariz--- A big second half allowed the Arizona Western Matadors (8-2 overall, 2-0 ACCAC) to cruise to their seventh consecutive victory, a 75-56 non-conference win over the Imperial Valley (CA) Arabs (0-6 overall, 0-0 conference) Friday afternoon at The House.
The Matadors overcame a slow start in which they struggled to score from the perimeter, shooting just one of ten from the three-point arc, and fell behind the Arabs midway through the first half.
The defense more than made up the difference, creating 11 points off of turnovers in the first half and rallying to gain a three point lead at the break.
Imperial Valley the edge on the glass and created multiple second chance opportunities in order to grab the early lead.
The game flipped in the second half as Sophomore Daniel Kiely asserted himself into the Matador offense by driving to the basket and forcing the Arabs into foul trouble. Imperial Valley had two post players, Isaiah Bustamante and Diego Baez foul out within forty seconds of each other and nine minutes remaining in the game.
With the size advantage in favor of Arizona Western, the Matadors gained the edge on the glass outboarding the Arabs 27-12 in the second half. Freshman Tyrell Tidey led all players with nine rebounds.
Kiely led all scorers with 20 points while ACCAC Player of the Week Jalen Townsell added eleven. Gio Nelson rounded out the Mats in double-figures with 10.
The Mats pick up the win in their final non-conference game of 2019 before returning to ACCAC action Wednesday against the Cochise Apaches. The game is scheduled for a 7:30pm tip and will follow the women's contest. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for military and seniors, and free for students with I.D.
The game will be livestreamed via AWC TV on the Matador Sports Network and available on cable channel 74 in Yuma.