YUMA, Ariz. – A win locked up a home playoff game for the Arizona Western College women’s basketball team, and the Lady Mats did it in style on Saturday night. AWC hammered Chandler-Gilbert 100-25 in Yuma and led from the opening tip to the final buzzer.
After both sides missed shots on their first offensive possessions, Sharice Kawakami nailed a three from the left wing to put the Lady Mats up 3-0. Maria Marquez followed it up with two three’s, and Brianna White made it 11-0 with an offensive rebound and layup halfway through the quarter.
Meanwhile, the Lady Matador defense suffocated Chandler-Gilbert in the first quarter. The Coyotes finished with three points, and the Lady Mats forced 11 turnovers. After CGCC hit a three, AWC (22-7 overall, 17-4 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) closed the quarter with six straight points to lead 25-3.
Things didn’t change much in the second quarter as the Lady Matador offense kept finding the open shooter. By halftime, 13 players had scored, and AWC had made eight three’s.
The defense held Chandler-Gilbert (0-27 overall, 0-21 ACCAC) to only three made shots in the half while forcing 18 turnovers. AWC led 54-12 at the break.
In the third quarter, the Lady Mats kept the gas pedal down. Marquez knocked down three more three’s, and Krisynthia Sampson scored seven of her 17 points. The lead ballooned to more than 50 points, and Chandler-Gilbert didn’t score until past the halfway point of the quarter. AWC led 83-18 to start the fourth quarter.
Marquez added five more points early in the fourth quarter and finished with a game-high 20 points and six three’s. Destiny Gonzalez pitched in 10 points, and every player that played in the game scored for AWC.
The Lady Mats shot 50% from the floor and 51% from three in the win. The team had 23 assists on 38 made shots.
AWC closes the regular season at Pima Community College on Tuesday evening. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 pm, and the game will be broadcast on 560 AM KBLU.
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 2,400 certificates and degrees in 2015-16.