Arizona Western (5-1, 12-2) improved their ACCAC league-leading record to 5-1 on the season with a nice road win over a tough Phoenix College (4-2, 11-3) team. Arizona Western would get off to an excellent start in this one, and would not look back - posting a narrow 78-75 win after a strong comeback from Phoenix.
Arizona Western (AWC) is led by the play of the conference's top overall freshman prospect, 6-foot-6 freshman wing Andre Jones. The last time I watched Arizona Western defeat Mesa JC on the road, earlier this season, Jones was not in action (injured). This time Jones was on the floor and his play was the difference.
Jones and AWC would get out to a big start in the game. Arizona Western would take a 11-0 lead to start the game, before Jones would knock down a three-pointer with 16 minutes left to play in the first half - giving AWC a 14-3 lead.
An alley-oop dunk by Jones with 4:30 left to play would push the Western lead to 17-points, 34-17. Arizona Western would cruise to a big 44 to 25 lead at the half.
After, what I am sure was a very heated halftime speech by Phoenix College head coach Matt Gordon to his team, Phoenix College would come out as a much different team in the game's second half. Phoenix College would outscore Arizona Western 50 to 34 in the game's second half.
Late in the game, Phoenix College would look to make the tremendous comeback, after a nice mid-range basket from 5-foot-9 sophomore guard Johnathan Matthews. Matthews played inspired basketball in the game's second half, leading the Bears back. His basket would pull the Bears to within 2-points, 75-73. Matthews would then make a nice assist to a teammate, 6-foot-7 sophomore Quinton Johnson for a basket with :56 seconds left to play, again bringing Phoenix College to within two points, 77-75.
A Matthews’ potential game-tying layup attempt though would be blocked with :08 seconds left, and then Phoenix College's sophomore wing Avonte Nelms would also miss a potential game-tying 3-pointer at buzzer - giving Arizona Western the win.
Arizona Western was led by Andre Jones, who finished with a game-high 18 points and 5 assists in the win. 6-foot sophomore guard Torin Webb contributed 15 points, while freshman guard Dajuan Beard had 13.
Phoenix College was led by Johnathan Matthews with 16 points and 6 assists, while freshman guard Lavette Parker had 13 and sophomore guard Kaveon Moore finished with 12.