By Brandon Johnson/COC Sports Information
College of the Canyons rallied from a late five-point deficit, and moved into the conference top spot one win away from winning a conference championship, with a hard fought 81-77 victory over visiting Bakersfield College on Wednesday night in the Cougar Cage.
The Cougars (14-12, 5-2) will travel to West L.A. College (17-10, 5-2) on Saturday, Feb. 17, with the winner claiming the Western State Conference (WSC), South Division title.
On Wednesday, the Cougars were led by Robert Moss who poured in a career-high 23 points, including five baskets from behind the arc. Jude Agbasi came off the bench to score 16 points, while Frankie Campbell posted a double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds.
The Cougars opened a five point lead in the early going as Campbell and Moss connected on back-to-back three pointers. The lead reached nine on an Agbasi layup midway through the half.
The Renegades rallied with a 6-0 run of their own, but Anthony Simone capped off a strong first half for the Cougars with a layup that beat the halftime buzzer. COC entered intermission with a 43-33 lead.
The Renegades came out firing in the second half, led by the strong play of Jaylunn English who scored 19 of his game-high 30 points after the break. His slam dunk cut the Cougar lead to five in the early going to kick start Bakersfield.
Just minutes later, Bakersfield (13-13, 4-4) went on a 12-1 run capped off by a deep three from Henry Galinato to open a 68-63 lead.
This time, it was the Cougars who rallied and cut the lead to one on a layup from Philip Webb. Then Michael Kalu hit a three from the top of the key to give the Cougars a 72-70 lead, an advantage they would never relinquish.
COC made 9-of-10 free throws down the stretch to put the game on ice.
Prior to tip off, there was a short ceremony honoring COC sophomores Moss, Campbell, Kalu, Jacob Lilley and Webb who played their final regular season home contest in the Cougar Cage.
Stay up to date on all this season's action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
— Photos by Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director