YUMA, Ariz--- Three’s and free throws sparked the Arizona Western College Matadors (12-14 overall, 7-11 ACCAC) helping end a five-game losing streak on Saturday afternoon at The House against Phoenix College Bears (9-17 overall, 9-9 ACCAC) 55-44.
With only a total of five total points in the first five minutes and a score of 3-2 Mats, both teams struggled to find the basket. Faith Silva’s four-point play extended the lead for AWC 8-4, she later on hit two freebees. 10 of the 23 points in the first period were free throws. The quarter ended 16-7 Matadors.
Even though both teams had shots on target it was fouls that brought the points in. The Lady Mats shot 76.9% from the line but had field goal percentage of 21.9 while PC shot 87.5% from the line and field goal percentage of 19. AWC had 12 offensive rebounds that turned into 10 points. The half ended 26-16.
Harria Mendoza opened the second half hitting both of her free throws and then immediately after hitting a field goal for the 30-16 lead. Later in Buse Utku swished two threes on back to back runs to give the Mats the highest lead of 36-19. It was a shooting quarter for both teams worked offensively
The pace halted in the fourth until a steal by Mendoza that was passed to Utku for the first field goal of the quarter. The Bears answered back on the next run with a three by Andrea Munoz pulling it back to 47-36 in favor of Mats. Phoenix worked off their freebees and had a seven-point run closing the score 48-40. AWC held the lead till the end and took the win 54-44.
Arizona Western improved their field goal percentage in the second half as well as their defense. Utku ended the night with 17 points and three threes. Ariana Pagan followed with 14.
The Matadors will be on the road for the next two games. They come back to The House for the season closer on Tuesday, February 26 at 5:30 the Men will follow at 7:30. Tickets are just $5 for the game. Students enter free with I.D. Both games will be streamed on AWC TV.
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.