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Stock action image of College of the Canyons women's basketball player Vanessa Zavala during the game vs. Antelope Valley on Jan. 20, 2024.

Lady Cougars Outlast Antelope Valley 68-67

By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director

Vanessa Zavala connected on seven three-pointers to finish with a season-high 23 points as four Lady Cougars players ended in double figures, helping College of the Canyons pick up a thrilling 68-67 conference victory at the Cougar Cage on Saturday night.

Zavala connected on a trio of three-pointers in the opening quarter and eventually finished 7-of-13 from behind the arc. Her long-range jumper with 2:10 to play broke a 65-65 tie and provided just enough to help Canyons pick up the win. Zavala's stat line also included 10 rebounds, three assists, a steal and three blocks.

Aaliyah Garcia scored 15 points alongside a team-high seven assists while Jade Sims ended with 12 points, five rebounds and a pair of assists. Sims' steal on an inbound play during the final seconds helped ensure the Marauders did not get a final shot attempt in the back-and-forth affair.

Hannah Tolentino finished with 12 points, all on three-pointers, to go with nine rebounds and four assists to represent her best outing since the beginning of conference play. Amiya Robinson played 17 minutes, all in the second half, ending with nine total rebounds, an assist, two steals and a pair of blocks. Her defensive presence was essential down the stretch. 

Antelope Valley (10-8, 2-2) came into the game off a dominating 73-29 road win at Santa Monica College earlier in the week but couldn't get past a determined Canyons side. Center Courtney Hart was 12-of-20 for 28 points to go with 16 rebounds. Cierra Steemer was next with 19 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and four blocks. Allysa Taylor led all players with nine assists.

The Lady Cougars shot just over 37 percent for the game and 39 percent from the three-point line. That long-range mark was a major improvement from Wednesday's contest at Citrus College in which Canyons went just 3-of-18 from three-point territory. Oddly, COC attempted just four free-throw attempts in the game.

COC (10-8, 4-1) is currently a game back of conference co-leaders Glendale (16-2, 4-0) and Citrus (14-4, 8-0) atop the Western State Conference (WSC), South Division standings.

Canyons remains home to face West L.A. College at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24. That contest can be viewed live via YouTube on the Cougars Sports Network. Canyons then travels to Glendale College at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27.

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