GLENDALE, Ariz. – Another first half lead turned into a wild ride down the stretch before the Arizona Western Matadors could fend off the Glendale Gauchos 77-70 Saturday.
The Matadors (6-11, 4-5 ACCAC) built another double digit lead in the first half, inflating it to as much as 15 in the third quarter and held a 47-37 advantage heading into the fourth before the Gauchos (8-9, 3-6 ACCAC) fought back.
Glendale erased the deficit in two spurts, outscoring the Mats 23-15 in an 8 minute run, and eventually snagged a one point lead with minutes to go. But Harris Mendoza hit a pair of free throw to put the Mats back in front and Raven Roberts hit the dagger, an open three from the right wing, before the Mats salted away the final seconds.
Arizona Western got off to another torrid start on the back of Freshman forward Mar Ibern, the reigning ACCAC player of the week.
Ibern scored 11 of her 19 points in the first half while Mendoza added nine of her 14 points.
While late game scoring has been an issue for the Mats lately, Mone Izumi was fantastic throughout with a team high 20 points for AWC.
The Gauchos late effort was equally impressive as Mallory Vivolva hung 13 of her 18 points in the second half. Tierney DeDonatis posted a game high 21.
One more road trip awaits the Matadors this week as Arizona Western travels to Thatcher to play Eastern Arizona Wednesday at 5:30pm.
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.