Yuma, Arizona – February 25, 2013 – Arizona Western College is proud to announce that a pair of AWC Women’s Basketball players has been named to the All-ACCAC & All-Region I postseason teams. Freshman forward/center Samantha Wallace has been named to the 1st team on both squads, while sophomore center Emilie Muanandibu (MOO-uh-NAHN-dee-boo) made 2nd Team All-Region I and 3rd Team All-ACCAC. The announcements come following the conclusion of the ACCAC postseason coaches’ meetings in Phoenix.
Considering the numbers that Samantha Wallace has posted in several different offensive categories all season long, it should be no surprise to ACCAC Women’s Basketball fans that she placed high on the postseason lists. The Lady Matadors have depended on the native of Sangre Grande, Trinidad & Tobago, for scoring and rebounding all season long, and she has continued to deliver-even as defenses have begun keying on her throughout the second half of the season. In fact, she continued to improve while gaining the respect of the coaches as she earned the ACCAC Women’s Basketball Division I Player of the Week Award twice in the regular season’s final three weeks. She also equaled and then bested her career high in points (which became 28 points on February 16th after her performance against Phoenix College) within the last two weeks. Wallace posted nine games of 20 or more points this season, and continued to average a ‘double-double’ throughout the 2012-13 campaign. She finished 2nd in the conference in scoring at an even 17 points per game while pulling down 11.1 rebounds per game. She not only led the team in those two categories but also was the team’s best shooter, firing at a 53.5% clip from the field. She was also 2nd on the team in steals (1.8 per game) and blocked shots (2.2 per contest) while placing 4th in free throw percentage (68.8%).
It’s fitting that it’s been a quiet respect that opposing coaches paid to Emilie Muanandibu with her being named to the postseason squads, since she’s accomplished a lot in two years at AWC while saying very little on the court. Muanandibu came to Yuma directly from her hometown of Kinshasa, Congo, Africa, and had to learn the English language and the college game at the same time. She continued to make great strides at both throughout the last 19 months, and this season, the work she put in during the off-season on her footwork, her ball control, and her short-range shot made a huge difference in her effectiveness inside for the Lady Matadors. She fought through nagging injuries from the first game of the regular season on, and flourished next to Wallace in the paint. While she was never looked to by the team to be their primary scorer, she was nearly always in double figures in scoring, highlighted by a career-high 21 points against South Mountain in mid-January. Muanandibu’s presence in the lane was a major deterrent to many an opposing offense, and her 2.5 blocked shots per game led the conference. Like Wallace, Muanandibu averaged a ‘double-double’ for the season with 11.3 points and 11 rebounds per game (both 2nd on the team behind Wallace). She was also 2nd on the team in field goal percentage at 47.3%.
Wallace & Muanandibu will now lead the Lady Matadors into the Region I Semifinals this Wednesday night, February 27th. It will be a rematch of last year’s semifinal matchup against the 2nd-seeded Cochise Lady Apaches, but this time, the Lady Matadors will travel to Cochise’s home city of Douglas to play the game, which earns the winner the right to advance to Friday’s Region I Finals against top-seeded Central Arizona College in Coolidge. Tipoff is at 7:30PM. Those Matador fans who can’t make the trip to Cochise College (4190 Arizona 80 in Douglas) to cheer on the Lady Matadors in person can catch all the action of any playoff game the Matadors are involved in LIVE on the Matador Sports Network: SportsRadio 560 KBLU on the radio; the AWC Athletics website (www.azwestern.edu/athletics) & the SportsRadio 560 KBLU website (www.kbluam.com) on the internet. Wednesday’s game will be broadcast on radio and internet audio starting with the Lady Matador Playoff Pregame Show at 7PM.