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COC women's basketball: COC keeps streak alive

Cougars win 12th straight game

Posted: January 23, 2010 11:14 p.m.
Updated: January 24, 2010 4:55 a.m.

College of the Canyons guard Dominique Turner (23) goes up for a shot against Glendale College's Kendra Carter on Saturday at COC. The Cougars won 83-55.

 
Since early December, College of the Canyons has had one of the best women's basketball teams around.

Now it's getting the victories when they count the most.

With their up-tempo style of offense clicking and 3-pointers falling, the Cougars were led by a team-high 16 points from Dominique Turner off the bench en route to an 83-55 rout of Glendale College on Saturday at COC for their 12-straight victory of the season.

"As a young coach, I learned that it doesn't matter how good you play in November and December," said Cougars head coach Greg Herrick. "It matters how well you are playing in January and February. If you look at the history of our program - our record in the program is probably 80 percent wins - the emphasis is on playing well now."

Ashley Wakefield added 15 points and Hart grad Kelli Lewis added 14 to lead a balanced scoring effort for COC.

The win was the Cougars' sixth in January and fourth straight in Western State Conference, South Division play.

Up next is a matchup with Citrus College on Wednesday, who is also undefeated in conference play, for the inside track on the WSC championship.

The Cougars (15-4, 4-0) raced out to a 16-3 lead thanks to four 3-pointers, including one from Lewis and three from sophomore guard Samantha Cross.

Cross finished with 12 points, all off threes, three assists and three rebounds. Lewis' full stat line included three 3-pointers, four assists and four rebounds.

"I wanted to pull it out for the team and last time, I felt like I let them down," said Lewis, who was 1-of-10 in Wednesday's 59-49 win over Santa Monica College. "This time, I wanted to really give that boost and hit a three, give confidence."

COC continued to push the ball in transition and slowly wore down the Vaqueros (10-10, 2-2), whose switch from a zone defense to man-to-man cut down the Cougars' 3-point opportunities.

Turner's substitution off the bench made sure to keep the pace going. She also added four rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Wakefield and teammate Joslynn Frazier controlled the low post early, but Glendale's Amanda Quesada cut into the lead with seven unanswered points just before halftime. COC led 38-25 going into the break.

As the second half began, Wakefield and Glendale forward Kendra Carter exchanged baskets in a matchup of both teams' leading scorers.

Carter came into the game averaging 14 points per game, while Wakefield leads the division with 19.1.

"I was just worked basically," Wakefield said. "I had to put in hard work. The team, they are going to look for me to post up the smaller guards."

But with just under 16 minutes left to play, the Vaqueros had found their shooting touch and brought the score to 46-38 on Amanda Gupilan's bucket. It's as close as they would get.

"When they cut the lead to eight, our kids decided it was time to take care of business," Herrick said.

Again, it was Turner who served as a spark in the second half, scoring 10 points during the run to complement Wakefield and Lewis, who scored eight apiece.

Ultimately, the run-and-gun style of the Cougars was too much for Glendale, which only fielded eight rostered players.

"I think they ran out of gas a little bit the end," Herrick said. "I think our continued effort to push the ball gave them some trouble in the second half. I give them some credit. They are kind of scrappy. They battled us."

Frazier finished with eight points, 11 rebounds, including seven offensive, two blocks and three steals.

Quesada led the Vaqueros with 17 points to go along with six rebounds and four steals, Carter had 15 points, nine rebounds, two blocks and a steal and Jenne Stevenson finished with nine points and six boards.

With each game, a fifth straight WSC title moves ever closer.

"They are starting to make a believer out of me," Herrick said. "They are playing hard, following directions, pushing the ball and implementing what we are teaching them every day. I'll go with them as far as they want to go."


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