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College of the Canyons women's basketball team photo.

Lady Cougars Open Season 75-48 Over San Bernardino Valley

By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director 

PASADENA — College of the Canyons opened the 2023-24 season with a 75-48 victory over San Bernardino Valley College in the opening round of the Pasadena City College Sisterhood of Champions tourney on Thursday. 

Canyons (1-0) played a dominating first quarter to open an 11-point lead then rode that momentum to a 39-24 halftime advantage. 

COC put a final stranglehold on the contest with a 26-point third quarter outburst led by Jade Sims and Hannah Tolentino, who each scored eight points in quarter.

The Lady Cougars saw four starters finish in double figures including a game-high 22 points from Sims who was 8-of-11 from the floor. The freshman added three rebounds, two assists, a steal and a pair of blocks to help lead the way. 

Vanessa Zavala finished the game with 20 points and was equally effective on the defensive end with three steals, three blocks and five rebounds. 

Aaliyah Garcia helped pace the offense with 10 assists to go with 14 points and five boards. Tolentino added 10 points to the Cougars' cause, ending with six rebounds, a pair of assists and two steals. 

Alexis Ruelas was impactful throughout with 10 rebounds, six assists and six points. Mariah Payan came off the bench to pull down 11 boards across 18 minutes of action.

COC won the rebounding battle 52-50 and also dished out 22 assists compared to six from SBVC (0-1).

The Wolverines shot just 24 percent from the floor and were 10-of-17 from the foul line. Conversely, the Cougars were an efficient 13-of-15 from the charity stripe and combined to shoot better than 42 percent for the game.

Canyons will continue in the tournament bracket on Friday, Nov. 3 with an opponent to be determined by Thursday's results. That game will tip-off at 12 p.m. from Lee Smelser Court at the Cougar Cage and will be broadcast live to fans via 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 Mari Kneisel/COC Sports Information