SCOTTSDALE — The Cochise College men’s and women’s basketball teams kicked off conference play Wednesday night.

The Apache men blew out the Artichokes 106-65 to remain unbeaten while the Apache women fell 84-74.

In the men’s game the Apaches got off to a sluggish start offensively and as a result was tied with Scottsdale 36-36 at the intermission.

Cochise found its offensive rhythm the second half outscoring Scottsdale 70-29 coming away with a dominant opening night win.

Newcomer, Jay Rodgers led the Apaches scoring attack with 25 points, connecting on seven, three-point attempts. Last year’s ACCAC Player of the Year, Stephen “Tank” Byard recorded yet another double-double scoring 19 points while pulling down 11 rebounds. Freshmen, Tyreese Watson and Oscar Cluff added 15 and 14 points respectively in the win.

“We challenged our guys at halftime to be more disciplined on both ends of the floor and to their credit they really responded,” Jerry Carrillo, head coach of the Apaches said. “Jay shot the ball very well tonight and it opened things up for us in the second half.”

“Coach really challenged us at halftime to have more defensive integrity and move the ball on offense,” sophomore guard Jalun Trent added. “We responded well.”

The Apaches improved to 7-0 on the season, 1-0 in conference.

In the women’s game that was played prior to the men’s game, the Apaches led 23-20 at the end of the first quarter and 35-33 at the half. Scottsdale took control of the game in the third outscoring Cochise 29-13 taking a 62-48 lead into the fourth quarter.

Game stats for the Apaches were not posted on the accac.org at press time.

The loss drops the Apaches women’s record to 2-2 overall, 0-1 in conference.

Both Apache squads are back on the road Saturday, Nov. 20, traveling to Mesa for an afternoon game with the Thunderbirds. After the game the Apache men will head to El Paso, Tex. for a non-conference showdown with Ranger College out of Ranger, Tex. in what will be a rematch of last year’s NJCAA national tournament first round game which was won by Ranger College.

Cochise is back at home on Tuesday, Nov. 23 taking on Central Arizona College. The women play at 5:30 p.m. followed by the men at 7:30. Fans are invited back to the basketball games. There is no admission charge to any of the Apaches home games.

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