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College of the Canyons women's basketball stock image of team during national anthem.

Lady Cougars Close Tourney with Back-to-Back Wins

Story and photo by Mari Kneisel/COC Sports Information  

College of the Canyons participated in the 44th Colleen Riley Holiday Crossover Tournament hosted by Fullerton College Dec. 14-16 with the Lady Cougars coming home with a 2-1 record.

Canyons (6-5) opened the tournament against host Fullerton (7-5) with the Hornets nabbing the 73-66 result. COC saw three Cougars score in the double-digits with Aaliyah Garcia putting up 21, Jade Sims with 19 and Vanessa Zavala with 12. However, it wasn't quite enough to overpower the Hornets' offense. 

The Cougars faced Cerritos College (7-5) on day two and fought for a narrow 65-62 victory over the Falcons. Garcia led the way again for Canyons finishing with a game-high 27 points. This time it was freshman guard Alexis Ruelas following Garcia with a total of 16 points on the night, her highest output of the season so far.

Canyons held the lead the entire game but the Falcons made a run in the last few minutes nearly taking hold of the scoreboard. With a one-point Cougar lead and 19 seconds left, Ruelas made a pair of clutch free throws to solidify the win at 65-62. 

On the final day of the tourney, Canyons breezed past Compton College (1-10) closing things out at 74-50. Garcia once again took off producing a game-high of 34 points. The freshman point-guard was 56 percent from the field and put down three shots from behind the arc while working for five assists and just as many steals. 

Sims was next producing 15 points with five assists and three defensive rebounds. Zavala led the team with 13 total rebounds and the Cougars saw nine points from Ruelas and seven each from Hannah Tolentino and Amiya Robinson.

Canyons is back in action Wednesday, Dec. 20 at Riverside City College. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m.

COC is back in the Cougar Cage on Friday, Dec. 29 to take on Palomar College at 5:30 p.m. 

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