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Welcome Back, Defense

College of the Canyons women bounce back from surprise loss.

Posted: January 31, 2008 5:46 a.m.
Updated: April 2, 2008 2:02 a.m.

Ashley Burch (33) of College of the Canyons gets fouled by Susana Rascon of Glendale College on Wednesday night at COC. The Cougars won easily 72-50.

It hasn't been a year of man-to-man defense for the College of the Canyons women's basketball team.

That is, until Wednesday night's game at home against Glendale College.
Both had just one loss in Western State Conference play coming into the game and Cougars head coach Greg Herrick wanted to eliminate the Vaqueros' ability to drive to the basket and kick the ball out to their 3-point specialists.
It was mission accomplished, as Glendale hit just two treys on the night in a 72-50 COC blowout, a game that was supposed to be a close match between two first-place teams.
Instead, it was all Cougars (15-8, 5-1) thanks to a strong defensive effort, one that had been missing in recent weeks.
Herrick couldn't even recall the last time his team played man-to-man this season.
"I think we caught them by surprise," he said. "We just never let them in the game. They were always struggling. Every time they made a run we answered with something."
The only time the Cougars didn't lead in the game was when the Vaqueros (15-10, 3-2) were able to tie it up at 2-2 on a basket by Manda Paul.
From there, COC went on a 12-2 run and was never in danger of losing the lead.
The win came on the heels of a surprise loss at Santa Monica College on Saturday, which was the first conference game COC has dropped since the 2005-2006 season.
"I don't know how to explain it. That loss was a shock to the whole team," said sophomore Andrea Bobic, who led the team with 20 points and also had a team-high 12 rebounds. "This game we focused on our defense."
It turned out to be a good plan.
The Cougars took a 36-17 halftime lead into the locker room, holding Glendale to 7-of-25 (28 percent) shooting in the opening frame.
"I think the focus was there tonight," Herrick said. "I haven't seen that in awhile."
It was more of the same in the second half, with COC going on a 9-2 run, capped off by a Charity Smith basket that gave the Cougars a 45-19 advantage.
Glendale had just one basket in the second half until Adriana Hernandez scored with 13:41 left in the game.
The sophomore guard was the only Vaqueros player to finish in double digits, scoring 10 points on the night. Grazia Rendon scored nine points.
For COC, reserve Ivory Blockmon scored all nine of her points in the second half, the most of any Cougars player in the final frame. She scored all that over a stretch where the COC extended its advantage from 50-27 to 61-34.
A 3-pointer by Bobic with 5:46 left in the game opened up a 30-point lead for COC. Bobic hit a trio of 3-pointers.
Along with Bobic, two other players finished in double figures for COC. Smith added 13 points and Kelly O'Linn, a Saugus graduate, chipped in 11 points.


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