COOLIDGE, Ariz. – All Raven Roberts needed was one more chance. The freshman guard lifted the Arizona Western College women’s basketball team (10-5 overall, 5-2 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) past Central Arizona College (10-5 overall, 6-1 ACCAC) 67-65 with a buzzer beater from the baseline on Saturday afternoon.
With three seconds left and the score tied at 65, Roberts missed her first look, but she grabbed the rebound and floated a shot to the rim to beat the buzzer. After it went through and the officials agreed that it counted, her team mobbed her by the Lady Matador bench.
The shot capped a fourth-quarter comeback as AWC erased a seven-point deficit. The teams traded baskets to start the quarter before the Lady Mats scored five straight points to cut the lead to 56-54 with 6:35 to play.
Central Arizona’s Kiara Knox hit a layup, and Destiny Gonzalez answered with a Lady Matador bucket. CAC took a four point lead one possession later, but Gloria Mulumba and Roberts scored two points apiece to knot things up at 60. Roberts finished with 11 points (all in the second half).
Nicole Smith attacked the rim and scored a layup with 2:15 to go for a 62-60 lead. CAC’s Alexis Vaughn tied it right back up on a jumper on the next possession.
Nobody scored until Theyoung Puoy took her defender to school on the post with less than a minute to play. Puoy used a sequence of spins that ended with a layup and a 64-62 lead. CAC turned it over, and Roberts went 1-2 from the free throw line for a 65-62 lead with 9.9 seconds to go.
CAC’s Morticia McCall drilled a step-back three out of a timeout that tied the game with 3.2 seconds to go, and it seemed like the game was headed to overtime. McCall finished with a game high 28 points Instead, Roberts came up with that last shot to win it.
The game was tight throughout the contest, and neither team led by more than nine. Throughout the first quarter, both sides traded buckets. AWC’s Josselyn Morris led the team with nine points in the quarter on three three’s and finished with 11. Despite Morris’s shot-making, the Lady Mats were down 13-12 after one quarter.
In the second quarter, CAC went on an 8-0 run to take a 25-16 lead, but the Lady Mats responded. Morris sank a floater to end the run, and Destiny Gonzalez got going. She scored nine points in the quarter and tied things up at 28 with five straight points. Gonzalez led AWC with 19 points in the game.
Central took a one-point lead into the half, 33-32.
Gonzalez led AWC to a strong start in the third quarter with four straight points and a 36-33 lead. CAC’s Knox answered with four points of her own, and the two teams played hot potato with the lead for a few minutes.
The Vaqueras used an 11-2 run to break a 43-43 tie near the end of the quarter. AWC’s Roberts hit a jumper right before the buzzer that cut the lead to 54-47 and gave the team a positive play to end the quarter.
AWC heads back to Yuma for a Wednesday night game against Glendale Community College. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tickets are only $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and military members. Children 12 and under and AWC students and staff (with current school ID) get in for FREE!
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.