Rubio helped the team only trail 13-9 after one.
The Mats were able to find some space in the middle of the paint in dribble-drive situations and move the ball around from there. Guards freshman Kyndal Ricks and sophomore Mone Izumi were able to beat the first line of Cochise defenders throughout the first half and penetrate into the middle.
Ricks led AWC in scoring with seven points.
Early in the second quarter sophomore guard Raven Roberts made backto-back threes on kickouts and the game was tied at 15.
The Apaches began to move the ball better against the zone and were able to take a 26-22 lead into the half.
“At times we start to share the ball a little bit more,” Cunningham said. “We would be a little more successful. The kids are trying to do the right things. We just have to be patient on offense. We’ll figure it out sooner or later.”
After a competitive first half, Cochise put any doubt to rest immediately. The Apaches’ defensive intensity was pushed up a couple of notches and they used that to get out in transition a bit. They started the second half with a 9-0 run to go up 35-22, and that caused major issues for a Mats team that isn’t built to score in bunches.
Cochise began moving the ball inside-out against the 2-3 zone and found a handful of easy looks. Apache sophomore winger Awa Keita caused AWC problems with her 16 points in the game. Keita and her teammates began to move the ball and use their length on the inside to pull away.
What was a four-point game at the half was 15 after three quarters at 45-30.
There wouldn’t be a late comeback either as Cochise kept playing well on defense and held the Mats scoreless for the final 5:19 of the game. AWC’s last field goal came from Rubio with 8:19 left in the game. Rubio also had six points.
The Mats were outscored 29-14 after half.
“Right now we’re trying to space the floor,” Cunningham said. “You have to be able to make the play that’s there. Sometimes we’re not making the next pass when we’re trying to make the next play to score.”