At the official midpoint of the conference schedule, both Matador Basketball (14-5, 8-3 ACCAC) teams have significant statements left to be made as they welcome in the Central Arizona Vaqueros (7-12, 5-6 ACCAC) to the House in Yuma Wednesday night.
It’s the second meeting between the schools this season but both teams have surely changed since the early season contest in November at Casa Grande.
The Matador men, having won five of their last six, will bring in solid momentum as they look for the season sweep of the Vaqueros. AWC won the first meeting 83-75 thanks to a typical performance from the starting five. The Mats have even increased their offensive output since averaging 92.2 ppg in the month of January, their best stretch of the season.
Forward Andre Allen made the most during his ACCAC Player of the Week reign with a pair of double-doubles.
Guard Cash Williams is coming of a season high 21 point effort in the Mats derailment of Scottsdale Wednesday.
The visiting Vaqueros enter in the middle of an uneven stretch of basketball, 2-3 in their last five, but having knocked off the only team to beat AWC this month, Eastern Arizona, 88-82.
Richard Polanco has been a key for the Vaqueros all season, entering as the team leader at 13.5 ppg. Polanco led the way for Central in the first meeting with 20 points.
Central is looking to get back to .500 in conference play while the Matadors sit in a four way tie for second, just a game behind Cochise for first place as the second round begins.
The Men are back to a 7:30pm start time, while the Women will open the evening at 5:30pm
The Lady Mats find themselves in a similar position to the men from Central Arizona, needing a win to get back to .500 and a chance to enter the top half of the conference standings while opposing a team already there.
The offensive end has been more inconsistent but Mone Izumi has led the scoring the last two games for AWC including a game high 18 on Saturday. Izumi also helps spearhead the defensive effort registering a handful of steals over the last week.
AWC’s defensive effort has been the calling card, submitting Scottsdale to a 27% shooting night and forcing 17 turnovers. But it will have to be extremely effective against Central Arizona and their leading scorer Ayanna Clark.
Clark has already earned ACCAC Player of the Week honors twice in 2019 and is the conference’s leading scorer at 23 points per game. She’s surrounded by a double-double machine in Makayla Pippen, who’s posted 8 straight games with double-digit points and rebounds.
The Vaqueras have won five consecutive games entering the evening.
The Women’s game starts at 5:30pm and the Men are scheduled immediately after, about 7:30pm. Both games can be viewed on AWC TV with pre-game at 5:20pm
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.