MESA, Ariz---A slumping start to the second-half proved to be too much to overcome as the Arizona Western Lady Matadors (5-6 overall, 1-3 ACCAC) dropped a 67-47 conference tilt to the Mesa Thunderbirds (7-4 overall, 4-1 ACCAC) Saturday afternoon at the Heap Gymnasium.
The T-Birds maintained the lead from the start as Janelle Barkey sparked the T-Birds off the bench with 9 of her 16 points in the first half.
Buse Utku answered the call in her return to the starting lineup with 12 of her 14 points in the first half, accounting for over half of the Matador's offense in the first 20 minutes.
Mesa started the second half with a 15-0 run over the first four and a half minutes and shot 53% in the third quarter to open up what would be an insurmountable lead. The big quarter included three of Mesa's six threes.
The defecit was compounded as AWC scuffled to get the offense rolling throughout the game including shooting just 2 of 18 from three for the game.
Hind Djelloul had nine points for the Matadors.
Zyan Smith added fourteen points for the T-Birds.
Arizona Western continues a daunting stretch of road games Sunday afternoon at Cypress College beginning at noon in California.Sunday's game will not be livestreamed. The Mats conclude the roadtrip Monday night against Pima Community College in Tucson, AZ.