TUCSON, Ariz. – Despite 29 points from Forward Mar Ibern, the Lady Matadors could not slow down the red-hot Pima Aztecs, falling 88-68 Wednesday night at the Aztec Gymnasium.
Reining ACCAC Player of the Week JJ Nakai had 20 points and eight rebounds for the Aztecs (13-9, 9-5 ACCAC) while Shauna Bribiescas added 20 points and 11 rebounds.
The Lady Matadors (8-14, 6-8 ACCAC) fell behind before the game even starter due to an administrative technical, which Nakai connected on both free throws, and never could fully recover being outscored 18-10 in the first quarter.
Arizona Western matched Pima almost bucket for bucket in the second as Ibern started to get into rhythm and freshman Jasmina Jones connected on a pair of three’s and two free throws in just four minutes.
In the second half, the Aztecs started hot and extended their lead into double figures thanks to Brianna Pitre hitting three of her four three pointers in the game.
But the Mats hung tight because of Ibern. Ibern tallied 16 of the Mats 18 points in the quarter and kept the deficit in single digits until a late couple of baskets by the Aztecs pushed the difference to 11 heading into the fourth.
The Aztecs were able to pull away in the fourth as RyLeigh Long completed her twelve point night. The Lady Mats got 12 points from Mone Izumi in the fourth, but ultimately failed to finding consistency from the field.
Arizona Western shot just 45% and under 23% from three for the game. The Mats were outrebounded for the first time in two weeks, 41-27 by the Aztecs.
The Matadors continue a tough road trip at conference leading Cochise Saturday night.
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.