YUMA, Ariz---A late alley-oop provided the flashy difference in a game that the Arizona Western Matadors (11-3 overall, 5-1 ACCAC) had to wrestle away a 51-48 decision from the winless Chandler-Gilbert Coyotes (5-7 overall, 0-6 ACCAC) to conclude the semester Wednesday night at The House.
Jalen Townsell's slammed in Daniel Kiely's lob to extend the Matador's lead to four, while putting them over 50 points with just 54 seconds remaining.
While the dunk proved to be the difference, a slow shooting second half was much of the problem in a game that each team controlled individual areas.
The Matadors started strong, even though the methodical pace was evident from the beginning.
Cash Williams hit a long two to open the scoring and added a three one possession later to give the Matadors a 5-0 lead after a full two-minutes of play.
While Arizona Western held solidly defensively, the Coyotes extended possessions with second and often third chances on the glass.
The Matadors countered by constantly turning over the Coyotes, 22 times in total, and cashing in those for 15 points. While CGCC turned 11 Matador turnovers into 10 points, the plus-5 was the Mats largest area of victory for the game.
That difference proved larger than the final score line as the Matadors dealt with a disadvantage on the boards (-14), from three (-3), and from the free-throw line (-6).
AWC shot just 2 of 16 from outside but made up for it inside where Williams and Townsell combined to be an efficient 10 for 16 for 26 total points.
But Arizona Western made plays and stops when it mattered most including Townsell's slam, his second of the game, and the proceeding stop on the final possession.
The Matadors close out the semester having won 10 of 11 and being tied atop the ACCAC at 5-1. Chandler-Gilbert will be in search of their first conference win when conference play resumes in January.
Arizona Western will return to play on January 4th against South Mountain at 4:00pm. The women's game will precede the contest at 2:00pm.
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.