Freshman forward/center earns accolade for 2nd time in last 3 weeks
Yuma, Arizona – February 20, 2013 -- Arizona Western College is proud to announce that for the second time this season, AWC Women’s Basketball player Samantha Wallace has been named the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Division I Player of the Week for the week ending February 16th. Wallace is the only AWC Women’s Basketball player to win the award this season, and she becomes the first two-time winner of the honor since both Lisette Longomo & Jolie Olingende each took it home twice last year. The announcement comes just four days after Wallace helped lead the Lady Matadors to a 58-56 victory over Phoenix College Saturday night at ‘The House’ on the AWC campus in the regular season home finale.
Coming into the week, Wallace had seven games where she had scored at least 20 points in a game this season, which was causing opponents to key on her defensively more than ever. That forced the Lady Matadors to work a little harder to find ways to get her involved in the offense-especially starting off the week against their rivals from Douglas. The Cochise Lady Apaches looked to protect their two-game lead over AWC in the standings by stopping the middle of the Matador offense, and for the first eight minutes of the game, they were effective. However, Wallace then made back-to-back hoops midway through the first half, and suddenly, the onslaught was on. Wallace finished the 1st half with 8 points (on 4 field goals) in helping the Lady Mats to finish out the half on a 20-3 run. Once the Apaches made a run to start the 2nd half to take the lead back, the Lady Mats began working it into Wallace, and no matter how many hands were in her face, she converted. The native of Sangre Grande, Trinidad & Tobago scored 19 of the Lady Mats’ 34 second-half points, converting a dozen field goals to tie her career-high of 27 points in the Lady Mats’ 63-56 win. Wallace also grabbed nine rebounds in the victory. She was far from done on the week, though, as that performance was mirrored by her performance in the Lady Mats’ final regular season game in front of the home crowd. Once again, she started out slow against Phoenix, but then built steam after the first 7 minutes of play. She had a dozen points at halftime, and when Phoenix continued to mount a major challenge in the 2nd half, it was Wallace who kept hitting big shots down the stretch en route to a new career-high of 28 points in the Matadors’ two-point victory. She also ripped down a game-high 14 rebounds. For the week, Wallace averaged 27.5 points, 11 ˝ rebounds and 2 blocks while shooting a blistering 60% from the field. On the season, Wallace leads the Matadors in scoring (16.9 points per game), rebounds (11.4 per contest) and field goal percentage (52.7%). She’s also 2nd on the squad in blocked shots (2 per game) and 3rd in steals (1.7 per game).
Wallace and the Lady Matadors face a must-win situation as they finish off their regular season schedule to lead off the ACCAC men’s-women’s basketball doubleheader this Friday. The Lady Matadors will face off against defending Region I Division II Champion Mesa starting at 5:30PM Friday night, February 22nd, with the Matadors’ Men’s Basketball team-needing a win to clinch homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs-to follow at 7:30PM. Fans that can’t make the trip to Mesa Community College (1833 West Southern Avenue in Mesa) can catch the action on the Matador Sports Network’s radio (SportsRadio 560 KBLU in Yuma) and internet audio (www.azwestern.edu/athletics & www.kbluam.com) legs beginning at 5PM Friday afternoon.