Lady Cougs Open Conference 68-63 Over LAVC
By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
VALLEY GLEN — Aaliyah Garcia poured in 22 points and Jade Sims added 17 more, as the freshman duo helped College of the Canyons pick up a 68-63 road win over L.A. Valley College in the Western State Conference (WSC), South Division opener on Wednesday.
The bounce-back victory gets Canyons (8-7, 1-0) back over the .500 mark and comes on the heels of the Lady Cougars' disappointing road result at Cypress College the week prior.
The difference vs. LAVC (8-7, 0-1) came at the charity stripe with Sims and sophomore Amiya Robinson both converting on key free throws late in the fourth quarter to ensure a Canyons victory. Sims was sent to the line twice in the final 20 seconds, knocking down all four attempts, while Robinson's attempts came in the final seconds.
COC was an efficient 14-of-17 from the foul line while combining to shoot just under 32 percent from the field. The Monarchs shot just over 33 percent as a team and were 10-of-16 on free throw attempts. LAVC held a 53-50 edge in the rebounding department. Both teams committed 11 turnovers for the game.
Garcia has now reached double-digit point totals in all 15 games having topped 20 points in six of her last seven outings. She added eight rebounds and six assists while playing the full 40 minutes.
Vanessa Zavala led her side with 14 rebounds, three blocks and two steals while chipping in with 11 points. Mariah Payan and Robinson each scored eight points off the bench and combined to pull down 13 rebounds, with seven credited to Robinson.
LAVC saw all five players score in double figures but received just three bench points. The Monarchs entered as the No. 12 ranked team in Southern California and had previously won back-to-back games before their meeting with Canyons.
With a conference victory under its belt, the Lady Cougars next return home to host Bakersfield College at 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13. Tickets are currently on sale. That contest will also be live streamed to fans free of charge on YouTube via the Cougars Sports Network.
—Photo by Mari Kneisel/COC Sports Information