By Brandon Johnson/COC Sports Information
College of the Canyons shook off a sloppy first quarter and rebounded to win its eighth straight game after knocking off conference rival Bakersfield College 88-60 on Wednesday night in the Cougar Cage. With the win, the Cougars clinched at least a share of Western State Conference (WSC), South Division championship.
Canyons (16-10, 7-0) can clinch the title outright with a win at West L.A. College on Saturday.
The conference title is the 16th in program history, all won under COC head coach Greg Herrick. The Cougars were last crowned conference champs after the 2015-16 season.
On Wednesday, COC sophomore Morgan Bizzell came off the bench to lead the Cougars in scoring with 26 points, while Kalana Inemer chipped in 18 points and 18 rebounds. Alexis Orellana handed out nine assists.
The Cougars got off to a slow start in a first quarter that featured a number of turnovers and uncharacteristic missed layups. COC escaped the first stanza with a 14-13 lead, led by seven points from Inemer.
Canyons started the second quarter hot, collecting the first five points. The lead swelled to double-digits for the first time on a Bizzell three-pointer.
The Cougars entered halftime with a 34-24 lead after Bizzell beat the buzzer with a layup.
COC came out firing in the third quarter, overwhelming the Renegades with a barrage of three-pointers and steals. An Orellana basket from deep stretched the lead to 20 midway through the third quarter.
Minutes later, Orellana connected on a three-point play featuring a circus layup and the rout was on.
Canyons kept Bakersfield (10-15, 4-4) at an arm's' length throughout the fourth quarter, setting the stage for CiCi O'Brien to put the finishing touches on the win with a deep three-pointer of her own.
Prior to the contest a brief ceremony was held to honor COC sophomores Dayna Tanaka, Gissel Sanchez, Inemer, Bizzell, and O'Brien who would play in their final regular season home game 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.
— Photo by Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director