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AWC men near century mark in win over Scottsdale
The Arizona Western men's basketball team gave Scottsdale Community College a harsh welcome to conference play.
The Matadors had five players in double figures and used a solid defensive effort to breeze past the Artichokes 96-55 Wednesday at The House.
“I thought it was a pretty complete game. Everybody did a nice job,” Matador coach Charles Harral said. “I thought Tanner (Clayton) and Carlos (Perez) played really inside for us but I think Marvin (Whitt) really set the tone and he was terrific.”
Whitt finished with a team-high 17 points, including a perfect 4 for 4 from behind the 3-point line for the Matadors, who improved to 8-3 overall and 3-0 in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference. Sophomore guard Aaseem Dixon had 14 points, eight rebounds and seven assists while Perez (16 points and 12 rebounds) and Clayton (12 points and 16 rebounds) provided the boost inside. Freshman guard Anthony Alston scored 16 for the Matadors, including a perfect 10 for 10 from the free-throw line.
“It's never a complete game. We have to keep working,” Whitt said. “We made a lot of mistakes. We played pretty well defensively.”
Scottsdale forward B.J. Ray led the Artichokes (1-3 overall, 0-1 in ACCAC) with 14 points. The Matadors never trailed in the game and after a basket by Dixon made it 4-2, Arizona Western led the rest of the way. Already holding a 28-17 advantage, the Matadors closed out the first half with an 18-1 run, thanks in part to eight points by Whitt.
“To be honest, we just try to played together. We knew we were on a run, but we didn't know we were on an 18-1 run,” Whitt said. “We just wanted to keep the peddle on the gas.”
In the second half, the Matadors continued to push away when Whitt and Dixon each connected on a pair of 3-pointers and Arizona Western finished the night 9 for 20 from beyond the arc while the Artichokes finished a woeful 2 for 20.
“We forced them into some tough shots tonight,” Harral said.
Arizona Western has three more games before a month-long break, including at home against Glendale at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. With their schedule about a third of the way complete, the Matadors appear to be starting to take shape after their complete game against Scottsdale.
“I don't know if we figured that out yet, but I feel like we're getting better,” Harral said.