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COC eliminates unsavory taste: women's hoops beats LBCC

Cougars women’s hoops gets first win of the season at Vikings’ expense

Posted: November 18, 2009 10:13 p.m.
Updated: November 19, 2009 4:55 a.m.

College of the Canyons swingman Ashley Wakefield, middle, drives to the basket on Wednesday at COC. Wakefield finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds.

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To get out of a slump, it helps to play a team that's struggling a little bit more.

It sure didn't hurt the College of the Canyons women's basketball on Wednesday.

The Cougars overpowered an undermanned Long Beach City College squad 92-60 and earned their first win of the season.

There were positive signs for COC (1-2), but Cougars head coach Greg Herrick said there was still plenty of room for improvement.

While COC struggled from outside the 3-point line, the Cougars' had a clear advantage in the post.

In fact, the Cougars failed to make a 3-point basket, which Herrick said was a rarity in his 18 years as COC's head coach.

"(Long Beach) was struggling, you saw that in the last seven minutes when we were able to get a three-on-two or a two-on-one every time," Herrick said. "But we still missed too many open shots. ... We sure didn't like the sound of 0-2, but we've got a lot of work to do."

On Wednesday, his team's frontcourt made short work of Vikings' defense inside the key.

The Cougars' offense was running early and often, racing out to a 40-20 lead with its first balanced performance of the season.

Cougars center Joslynn Frazier tied a game-high with 24 points, with 13 in the first half, all in the paint or from the line. She also added 16 rebounds and seven steals to lead the team on both ends.

COC swingman Ashley Wakefield matched Frazier's 24 and added 13 boards.

Wakefield, who was on the All-Western State Conference first team last year, said she saw a lot of good things from her team. Most importantly, they were playing well as a team and not as individuals.

"We just worked as a team," Wakefield said. "We were running our lanes really well. Our post played really well, and it was all just working."

Once Frazier drew her Long Beach counterpart into foul trouble with COC leading 55-32 at the 15-minute mark in the second half, there wasn't a whole lot the Vikings could do.

"It really hurt in the second half that we didn't have the numbers," said Vikings interim head coach Reggie Ellis.

Ellis took over the team last week, and said it has been a rebuilding year with several difficulties. Injuries and departures whittled the Vikings (1-3) to seven players down from 13 at the beginning of the year.

COC's Kelli Lewis' play at the point, which included nine points and eight assists, helped the Cougars build a 33-point lead with 10 minutes left.

Since it was a pre-conference game, Herrick said the game was more about an opportunity to try a bunch of different looks and experiment on offense and defense. The results, he said, were mixed.

"I thought we ran OK tonight, but we could have scored 120 with all the shots we missed. We've got a long way to go to work on those things," Herrick said.

The Cougars' next game is against Taft College in the first round of the Ventura College Kiwanis Club Tournament at 4 p.m. on Nov. 27.


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