Third Quarter Run

GLENDALE, Ariz. – In a reverse of their first matchup, the Arizona Western College women’s basketball team used a monster third quarter to beat Glendale Community College on Saturday afternoon. The Lady Mats (19-8 overall, 14-5 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) outscored Glendale (14-11 overall, 10-9 ACCAC) 21-10 to erase a halftime hole and go on to win 60-50.

The first time these two teams met, it was Glendale who used a huge third quarter to cut apart a big AWC lead. The Lady Mats used a balanced attack to surge past GCC as seven players scored in the quarter, and no single player hit more than two shots.

AWC was down 30-24 at the half, but Glendale’s Tierney DeDonatis hit a three to push the lead to nine.

Josselyn Morris came down and scored for the Lady Mats by attacking the rim, and it jump-started the offense. The Lady Mats ripped off a 13-2 run over the next three minutes to take the lead. Gloria Mulumba capped the run with four straight points to put AWC up 37-35.

After Glendale tied the game at 37, Destiny Gonzalez scored four straight points for AWC for a 41-37 lead with less than three minutes left in the third quarter. DeDonatis hit a three, but AWC scored the final four points of the third. Theyoung Puoy and Raven Roberts each went 2-2 from the line to give AWC a 45-40 lead headed to the fourth quarter.

Morris and Rei Imamura owned the fourth quarter for AWC’s offense, and the defense stayed locked in. The two sophomores each hit two three’s to help AWC push the lead to double digits. Imamura hit the first, and then Morris drained one on the next possession for a 52-43 lead with 5:40 to go.

Imamura put AWC up 55-45 with a three from the corner, and Morris stretched it to 58-45 with a straightaway three with 3:30 to go. Morris led AWC with 17 points on five three’s, and Imamura added 12 on four three’s.

AWC’s defense suppressed Glendale during that stretch and only gave up two points during a five minute stretch.

At the start of the game, the Lady Mats opened up an early 8-2 lead. They managed the lead for most of the quarter and led 14-6 with 3:05 to go after Puoy posted up and scored.

Glendale caught first and closed the quarter on a 9-0 run to take the lead. DeDonatis scored five of the 11 and hit two free throws with 39 seconds left to put Glendale up 15-14.

Early in the second quarter, RJ Blackburn scored five points as AWC retook the lead 21-17, but Glendale answered. The Gauchos ripped off a 13-0 run as AWC went cold from the floor. DeDonatis again led the charge for GCC. She scored seven points in the quarter and led all scorers with 25 points in the game.

Morris finally ended the six minute scoreless stretch for the Lady Mats with a three with 21 seconds to go in the half. That cut the Glendale lead to 30-24 at the break.

Mulumba had 11 points for AWC.

The Lady Mats are home on Wednesday night to host Scottsdale. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., and 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.

--MATADORS--

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