Yuma, Arizona – April 9, 2013 – Arizona Western College is proud to announce that AWC Women’s Basketball player Samantha Wallace has been named as an Honorable Mention NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball All-American. It’s the seventh consecutive year that the Lady Matadors have placed a player on the NJCAA All-American List. Wallace was one of only seven players that made All-American status from the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference (ACCAC). The announcement comes just six weeks after Wallace helped lead the Lady Matadors to a spot in the Region I Division I Semifinals for the 5th straight year.
AWC Women’s Head Basketball Coach Patrick Cunningham had to battle a shortage of roster numbers all season long, which made it that much more comforting for him to count on his maturing freshman forward throughout the 2012-13 campaign. The native of Sangre Grande, Trinidad & Tobago, never stopped responding to the challenge-especially down the stretch in February, when she either equaled or topped her career high in points (ending at 28 points on February 16th after her performance against Phoenix College) three times within the season’s last two weeks. Because of that, the respect she earned from opposing coaches grew as the season wore on, earning her a pair of ACCAC Women’s Basketball Division I Player of the Week Awards in the regular season’s final three weeks, and 1st Team All-Region I & All-ACCAC honors right before the Region I Playoffs began. Wallace started every one of the Lady Matadors’ 31 games during her freshman campaign, and led them in scoring and rebounding practically from start to finish, averaging a ‘double-double’ in both. She finished 2nd in the conference in scoring at an even 17 points per game while pulling down 10.9 rebounds per game. She not only led the team in those two categories but also was the team’s best shooter, firing at a 54.1% clip from the field. She was also 2nd on the team in steals (1.8 per game) and blocked shots (2.1 per contest) while placing 4th in free throw percentage (67.7%).
Wallace will now concentrate on finals at the AWC campus next month, and then on further refining her game to return to campus for her sophomore season next October. “We are pleased and excited for Samantha, as we know she is only beginning to reach her potential as a basketball player,” said Cunningham. “Obviously, her performance is a product of a solid group of players around her, and the fact that Emilie Muanandibu also had a very productive year in the post for us allowed Samantha to generate a lot of shot opportunities during games-as well as help her develop during practice. She is working hard this spring with (Matadors’ Women’s Assistant Basketball) Coach (Regina) Schlichter to improve her game, and she will generate a lot of excitement and interest next year from fans… and universities.”