YUMA, Ariz---- The Arizona Western Matadors (6-2 overall, 1-0 ACCAC ) used a second half surge to earn their first conference win of the season 79-74 over Central Arizona College (3-2 overall, 0-1 ACCAC) Wednesday night at The House.
Neither team could build a comfortable lead in the first half. The Matadors had the largest lead at 23-17, but the Vaqueros went on a 7-0 run themselves to take the lead.
It was back and forth for much of the net twenty minutes with the Vaqueros holding on to the longer runs of the nineteen total lead changes.
It was in the second half that Arizona Western's 14-2 run ballooned their lead to 13 points and seemed to put the game out of reach.
But the Vaqueros hit on three of the four total 3's that they would make in the game to make it a four point game with just a minute left.
Jalen Townsell and Daniel Kiely each carried significant parts of the offense. Townsell hit four of six attempts from three and Kiely was constantly in the paint as they both finished with 20 points. Cash Williams followed with 16 points.
The Matador defense was stifling at times, as Williams had seven of the team's ten steals and AWC forced 18 turnovers from CAC, while committing just ten themselves.
The Matadors were able to close the game out at the line despite shooting a paltry 41% from the charity stripe.
Central Arizona was led by Shakeil Bertrand and JC Canahuate. Bertrand went 10/14 in the paint finishing with a total of 24 points. Canahuate tallied 20 points.
The Matadors will return home in the conference match Saturday November 23 at 4:00 pm at The House. Tickets are just $5 for the game. Students enter free with I.D. The game 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.