TEMPE, Ariz.---Riding a big first quarter in which they outscored their opponents by 16 and keenly accurate three-point shooting, the Arizona Western Lady Matadors (5-10, 3-4) knocked off the South Mountain Cougars (7-4, 4-3) 70-58 Saturday.
The Matadors got off to a hot start thanks to Vinyet Garcia connecting on a pair of early three pointers and the Mats smothered the Cougars on the other end of the floor, holding South Mountain to just 7 first quarter points.
Freshman forward Mar Ibern was a handful all afternoon for the Cougars as the forward was a perfect 3-3 from three-point territory and finished with a game high 17 points. Ibern also snagged 11 rebounds Western.
The hot start was prolonged by stingy defense all game, keeping the Cougars under 15% shooting in the first half. Mone Izumi provided a spark off the bench offensively for the Mats, going 5-6 from the field for 11 points and facilitating the offense.
The Western starting five of Garcia, Ibern, Raven Roberts, Harria Mendoza, and Kayla Rubio, along with Izumi off the bench combined for 65 of AWC’s 70 points.
The game was arguably the Matadors most complete to this far this season with the high team field goal percentage (54%), best percentage from three (50%) on the second fewest attempts of the season (14), while also being their highest rebounding total of the season (49) combined with the smothering defense that held the Cougars to just 18 first half points.
The win pulls the Matadors into a traffic jam amid the ACCAC, locked up with five other teams for sixth place at 3-4.
Arizona Western looks to take the momentum home on Wednesday as they host the Phoenix College Bears at 5:30pm in Yuma.
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.