MESA, AZ – The Arizona Western College Matadors saw their season come to an end Saturday night at the hands of the Mesa Thunderbirds by a final of 108-63 in the ACCAC Championship game.
With the loss, the AWC Matadors end their season with a 24-8 overall and 17-5 in ACCAC play, while Mesa improves to 25-5 and remain 19-3 in ACCAC play.
Mesa came out firing at home Saturday evening enroute to their conference title. The T-Birds trailed early, but then gained the lead and never looked back. At halftime, Mesa led AWC 55-34 and shot an astonishing 58.6% from the floor, compared to just 36.7% for the Matadors.
The second half didn’t get any better for the Mats as they scored just 29 points on 29.2% shooting compared to 53 points from Mesa on their 46.4% shooting.
The Matadors were led in scoring Saturday by freshman Ali Faruqbey, who tallied 14 points on 4-of-17 shooting.
The Matadors swept Mesa in the regular season by finals of 75-74 at Mesa and 78-71 in Yuma.
After tonight’s victory, the Mesa Thunderbirds advance to the District Finals next Saturday night. The T-Birds will head north to face Salt Lake City Community College who defeated the College of Southern Idaho in the Region 18 Championship. Mesa and Salt Lake City will battle for the right to play in the NJCAA National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas in a few weeks next Saturday night in Utah.