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Cougars Come Up Short 77-76 vs. Ventura

By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director 

IRVINE — The Cougars came within three points of winning back-to-back tournaments to begin the season, falling 77-76 to Ventura College in the championship game of the 25th Annual Irvine Valley Classic on Friday.

Ventura took the lead with three seconds to go on a three-point shot by Adrian McIntyre with three seconds to go.

College of the Canyons (3-1) led 76-74 with three seconds to go after Dillon Barrientos sunk a pair of free throws. But on the next possession, Ventura (5-0) was able to convert on a three-point attempt by Adrian Mcintyre to put the Pirates back ahead 77-76.

COC freshman Andrew Henderson managed a buzzer-beater attempt in the final seconds, but the desperation shot was off the mark.

Henderson finished the game with 27 points on an 8-of-18 shooting night. He continues to lead Canyons with an average of 19.5 points per game. His stat line vs. the Pirates also included seven rebounds and four blocks.

The freshman out of Chatsworth High School scored 19 points in the first half helping the Cougars to a 41-31 advantage at the break.

Henderson and Barrientos provided a powerful one-two punch in the opening half, with the latter scoring nine of his 17 points in the opening period. Barrientos also finished the game with eight assists and four rebounds. His 10 free throw attempts were a game high.

Ventura was paced by McIntyre's 24 points and six rebounds. The guard also came away with five steals in the game.

Henderson and Barrientos were joined by Joshua Belvin of Cerritos College and Luc Krystkowiak of Irvine Valley in being named to the IVC Classic All-Tournament team. McIntyre was named the tournament MVP.

The Cougars shot better than 47 percent from the floor but committed 23 turnovers on the night.

Corwin Smith and Dylan Griffin each scored eight points to help the COC effort. Jimmy Galgano lead the Cougars' reserves with seven points and seven boards.

COC defeated Cerrritos College by a 71-67 final score in their opening round tournament game on Thursday. Previous to that, the Cougars opened the season by winning the 'Clash at Canyons' Tip-Off event.

Canyons is back in action Wednesday, Nov. 17, with a trip to Santa Barbara City College. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m.

COC then returns to the Cougar Cage on Saturday, Nov. 20 for a 3 p.m. contest vs. Chaffey College.

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 Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. 

—Photo by Mari Kneisel/COC Sports Information