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College of the Canyons men's basketball stock action image of players Logan Ghoumouri and Raz Orbach.

Canyons Wins Second Straight 65-40 Over L.A. Pierce

By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director  

College of the Canyons tamed L.A. Pierce College by a 65-40 final score on Lee Smelser Court at the Cougar Cage on Wednesday, winning its second straight contest in a low scoring affair.

Canyons (5-6) has now won three of its last four outings, fueling its bid to get back over .500 before the start of conference play on Jan. 10. Wednesday's victory came with former longtime COC head coach Lee Smelser, the facility's namesake, in attendance. The crowd also included a collection of former players from both Smelser and current head coach Howard Fisher's respective tenures.

The Cougars headed into halftime with a 23-21 advantage after Jacob Gonzalez got to the basket for the final points of the opening session. Prior to that the two sides went scoreless for a span of more than seven minutes.

L.A. Pierce (4-10) shot just under 27 percent for the half while committing eight turnovers to aid in the scoring drought. Similarly, COC was tagged for 12 turnovers and was a combined 32 percent from the field over the first 20 minutes. Joshua Barnett finished the game with eight points, all in the first half. Mason Savery also ended with eight, after six in the first half.

COC got a boost from its bench after the break with a combined 17 points coming from Logan Ghoumari, Deshawn Herold, Jeremiah Walker and Savery. Canyons shot the ball much better in the second half, finishing better then 53 percent from the field and 4-of-9 from three-point range.

Herold netted a pair of long-range jumpers to finish with six points, adding two rebounds and an assist to his stat line. Jonah El-Farra also came alive in the second half pulling down 11 boards to go with eight points. He finished with a game-high 16 rebounds, including five off the offensive glass.

El-Farra was one of four starters to finish at eight points in what was a balanced scoring attack for the Cougars. Isaiah Ortega, Raz Orbach and Barnett were the others. Orbach was also credited with three assists and four rebounds. Walker had four rebounds with five going to Savery. COC won the battle of the boards by a 43-38 margin. Ortega and Walker each recorded three steals. Ghoumari's seven bench points were a valuable addition.

The Brahmas received a game-high 13 points from Keshawn Christian. His seven rebounds were also a team high. L.A. Pierce had three players finish at six points apiece but could never really muster a sustained run vs. the Cougars. Wednesday's loss was the team's fourth straight.

Upcoming Schedule

Canyons will have a brief hiatus before resuming action at the 33rd Annual Cougar Holiday Classic being played Dec. 28-29. 

L.A Trade Tech College, Orange Coast College and Mt. San Antonio College are the other tourney participants.

COC and LATT get the action started 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28 with Mt. SAC and Orange Coast in the afternoon game scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday's matchups will be determined by Thursday's results. 

Admission to tournament games is $10 for fans over the age of 18 and includes both contests. College staff and students will be admitted free (with I.D.). Electronic payments only.

All four tournament games will also be live streamed to fans via YouTube on the Cougars Sports Network.

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 X, InstagramFacebook and YouTube

—Photo by Carla Sophia Velasco/COC Sports Information