Barrage Downs Lady Mats

YUMA, Ariz. – A torrent of three’s from Izzy Spruit downed the Arizona Western College women’s basketball team on Tuesday night. Spruit hit nine three’s, the Lady Mats (21-9 overall, 16-6 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) only hit eight as a team, and 13th ranked Pima Community College (22-8 overall, 16-6 ACCAC) beat AWC 76-65.

Spruit started getting on a roll in the second quarter when she hit four three’s. She had 12 of her team’s 19 points as Pima built a double digit lead.

Arizona Western was cold for long stretches in the second quarter, but the Lady Mats used a late run to get within one possession. Down 26-16, a 9-2 run pulled the Lady Mats within three with 2:20 to go in the half. Rei Imamura scored five of the team’s nine points during that stretch.

Spruit spoiled the run though, and she hit a three to put Pima up 31-25 at the half. She led all scorers with 30 points in the game.

After halftime, AWC pulled within one on a Josselyn Morris three. Pima responded with eight straight points, but AWC didn’t back down. Destiny Gonzalez hit a three, and Raven Roberts added one during an 8-2 run that pulled the Lady Mats within one possession, 41-38.

Christine Ortega scored a bucket that started a Pima run to end the quarter. Spruit added a couple of three’s, and the Lady Mats were staring at a 52-40 hole heading into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter, AWC kept attacking the basket, but Pima always seemed to hit a backbreaking three or to get an important offensive rebound.

The Lady Mats rallied late and finally trimmed the lead to nine, 64-55, but Ortega scored six straight points to build the double digit lead again. She finished with 20 points. Pima led by at least 10 for the rest of the game.

Imamura hit three three’s in the final quarter for the Lady Mats on the way to setting a career high with 16 points. Destiny Gonzalez led the team with 18 points and also hit two three’s. She added six rebounds and blocked two shots.

In the first quarter, the Lady Mats led 14-12 after suffocating Pima from the perimeter. AWC kept Pima from hitting a three, and AWC took advantage. Gloria Mulumba scored the final four points of the quarter to put AWC up by two.

The Lady Mats will head on the road for the first round of the Region I playoffs next week. AWC plays Central Arizona on Tuesday, March 6 at 7:00 p.m. in Coolidge, AZ.

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. AWC leads the state in enrollment growth over the past 10 years and handed out more than 2,300 certificates and degrees in 2016-17.

--MATADORS--

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