The Stronghold Gymnasium on Cochise College’s Campus was the place to be Saturday night. The Cochise Men’s Basketball team took on rival Arizona Western in a high profile NJCAA basketball game. The Apaches came into the game holding an eight-game win streak and a two-game lead on the Matadors of Western. It was a close battle at the start of the game, and finally, the Apaches were able to create separation with back-to-back three-point field goals by Darnell Robateau. The momentum swung in favor of the Apaches as they ended the half leading by the score of 40-29.
Sophomore Darnell Robateau led the Apaches in scoring with a total of 18 points on a very efficient five for eight shooting from the field. Robateau also finished the game with six rebounds and four assists. Naje Smith added another double-double to his career total as he scored 16 points on 70% shooting and grabbing ten rebounds. Smith was able to get some timely offensive rebounds that lead to his point total and separation from the Matadors throughout the game. Chris Whitaker also added 16 points of his own, and Mahki Morris chipped in with 10.
“We played hard tonight. We stayed together throughout the game, and that is what we need to do keep doing as a team to win a championship,” said Head Coach Jerry Carrillo. “We’re in a good place right now as a team and guys are stepping up and making plays for us. We hope to keep this momentum going.”
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Cochise College outrebounded the Matadors by 13.
The Cochise College Apaches play at Eastern Arizona College on Wednesday, February 6 at 7:30 p.m. The Apaches are riding a nine-game win streak and hold a two-game lead on Pima CC for the regular season ACCAC title with seven games left to play.