By Brandon Johnson/COC Sports Information
College of the Canyons fought off a tough trapping defense and a flurry of late turnovers to secure an important 75-68 victory over visiting West L.A. College on Wednesday night in the Cougar Cage.
In the process, Canyons (13-10, 4-0) extended its win streak to five games and took sole possession of first place in the Western State Conference (WSC), South Division.
COC freshman guard Maryrose Elias poured in 32 points, connecting on 14-of-21 field goals including four baskets from downtown.
Canyons jumped out to a quick 15-6 lead in the first quarter when Elias connected on back-to-back three pointers. The lead swelled to 17 at one point in the second quarter before the Wildcats rallied behind the strong play of Brianna Anugwom, who finished the half with 13 points.
At intermission, COC held a nine-point lead with Elias registering 18 points.
West L.A. started off the second half strong and cut the lead to four on layup from Ihana Aiona. But once again, Elias connected on back-to-back threes to extend the lead back to 13, the same lead the Cougars held heading into the final quarter.
COC once again opened up a 17-point advantage when Dayna Tanaka started the scoring in the fourth with a pair of quick layups.
The Wildcats shaved the lead to 10 with just over two minutes to go, but the Cougars converted on enough free throws to hold off a late push from the Wildcats.
COC returns to the court at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, to host L.A. Pierce College.
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.