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Cougars make it 16

Wakefield, Lewis help add to College of the Canyons’ winning streak

Posted: February 10, 2010 10:01 p.m.
Updated: February 11, 2010 4:30 a.m.

College of the Canyons guard Kelli Lewis (5) defends as Los Angeles Valley's Andrea Scott looks to pass on Wednesday at COC. The Cougars' 85-53 win over the Monarchs was their 16th straight win this season.

 

With College of the Canyons clicking on offense Wednesday, the Cougars could have beaten Los Angeles Valley College any way they liked.

As it turned out, the combination of Ashley Wakefield and a healthy dose of outside shooting was all it took.

Wakefield scored a game-high 24 points and the Cougars won their 16th straight game, an 85-53 victory at College of the Canyons.

The Cougars (19-4, 9-0 Western State Conference) also hit eight 3-pointers, led by Kelli Lewis’ four treys.

They also got points by pushing the ball in transition.

“We have that ability,” said Cougars head coach Greg Herrick. “You’ve got to have an answer for everything everyone throws at you or they’ll beat you.”

The game was relatively close for the first 10 minutes, but Lewis nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to open up a more comfortable advantage the Cougars would never relinquish.

“I think it’s just confidence,” Lewis said. “We wanted to win really badly and we wanted to get into the mindset that it wouldn’t be close.”

College of the Canyons achieved that goal by forcing 30 turnovers, mistakes that never allowed L.A. Valley’s offense to find a rhythm.

The Cougars’ outside shooting also broke the zone defense of the Monarchs (8-15, 4-5), who had won three in a row coming in and have just two sophomores on the team.

“Canyons is an excellent team,” said L.A. Valley head coach Jay Werner. “You’d better bring your ‘A’ game. We’ve got some young girls on the team. We need to be stronger with the ball.”

Wakefield didn’t miss a shot in the second half, and Lewis shot 47 percent from the floor in scoring 23 points.

In the second half, COC’s Dominique Turner scored all 10 of her points by driving to the hoop to set up her pull-up jumper.

Ashley Mason and Samantha Cross added eight points apiece for the Cougars.

The numerous scoring contributions offset a tough night for forward Joslynn Frazier, who scored seven points but shot just 22 percent from the floor.

Herrick said he was pleased with his team’s consistent focus, which has been a problem at times.

“We kept our intensity up,” he said. “We have the tendency to get up and lose focus. It doesn’t matter what the score is or who you’re playing, you’ve got to keep the intensity up and we did that.”

L.A. Valley forward Briana Smythe found space to operate in the paint in the second half, and Smythe wound up with 15 points for the Monarchs.

Teammate Porcha Davis, who transferred from COC, also had 15 points.

Herrick said that with a win this Saturday at Santa Monica College, the Cougars can clinch their fifth consecutive conference title.

Herrick also said that the record for consecutive victories by the women’s program is 21, set back in 1997.

While the Cougars are still a ways away, Herrick likes how they’re playing.

“This was a good test,” Herrick said. “(The Monarchs) gave us problems the last time we played. We went in with the idea they were going to play us the same way and they kind of did.”

 

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