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Matadors light it up from outside in big win over Aztecs
For the worst 3-point shooting team in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference, Arizona Western put on a clinic Friday.
Of course, even if the Matadors didn't shoot lights out from long range, they still would have rolled to an easy win.
Pima put up little fight as AWC rolled in the season finale 116-57 at The House. The Matadors entered the game already owning the top seed in next week's NJCAA Region I Division I tournament, while the Aztecs finish the season losers of 16 straight.
The Matadors (22-8 ACCAC, 17-5 overall) finished the game shooting 40 percent from long range after entering the game with 28.5 percent season average. D'Angelo Scott had a game-high 26 points and made the team's first 3-pointer.
“We went out and shot the ball with confidence today,” Scott said. “It's going to carry over. We're not going to take any days off and we're going to stay with it.”
AWC scored the first 18 points, 30 of the first 35, had another 18-0 run between the first and second half and led by as much as 63.
All this from a team that win or lose would be hosting the fourth-place D-I team (Mesa, who knocked AWC out of the semifinals last year) in the first round on Thursday, and with a win hosting the championship game Saturday.
“We had to go out there and make a statement,” Scott said. “We can't clinch first and lose the rest of our games, play like we don't want it. We have to play like we want it wether we're first, last, in the running. Even though we clinched first, we wanted everyone to know we weren't relaxing.”
The last time the Matadors face the Aztecs (5-23, 2-20), Pima had a shot at the upset but fell 71-64.
Coach Kelly Green said he was impressed with how focused his team played.
“We didn't try to do too much crazy stuff,” Green said. “This is a tough game, and whenever your up a lot early it's difficult. You have a letdown. I thought it showed a lot of maturity.”