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College basketball: Cougars fight back

COC women erase 18-point deficit to win

Posted: January 19, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: January 19, 2012 1:55 a.m.

College of the Canyons forward Delisa Chapman shoots over Santa Monica center Clinae Trainor on Wednesday at COC. The Cougars rallied from an 18-point deficit to win 80-75.

 

At least one fact became clear on Wednesday.

This College of the Canyons women’s basketball team has plenty of fight left in it.

Trailing by 18 points at halftime and facing the possibility of losing their fourth straight game to open Western State Conference, South Division play, the Cougars rallied back for an 80-75 win over Santa Monica College at College of the Canyons.

“We motivate each other,” said COC guard Angelica Sahagun. “We feed off each other’s energy. We knew we weren’t going to lose the game.”

Sahagun scored a career-high 27 points in the victory, which snapped a five-game skid for the Cougars on the court.

Despite losing 57-52 to Citrus College on Jan. 7, COC is credited with a win due to Citrus’ forced forfeit after suiting up an ineligible player.

Outside of that, COC hadn’t won since Dec. 29 against Pasadena.

And a 45-27 halftime deficit on Wednesday pointed to a continuation of the losing streak.

“I just challenged them at halftime, and I’ll do that to any team,” said COC head coach Greg Herrick. “I just told them, ‘Are you happy with what you’ve done?’”

What they did do in the second half was aggressively force the ball inside and got to the free-throw line.

By the 13:13 mark, SMC (7-13, 1-3) had allowed its lead to dwindle down to 54-53 after a quick 9-2 COC run.

The run was capped by a 3-pointer from the corner by Bev Weaver, who was playing for the first time since going down with a neck injury in late December.

She didn’t play at all in the first half, but made an impact after the break with eight points and three steals.

Forward Jazzmyn Davis was also a force for the Cougars in the paint, scoring 17 points and pulling down 17 rebounds.

Davis and Sahagun were the two instigators of the comeback.

Together, they took advantage of 24 Corsair turnovers to eventually grab the lead at 64-63 for the first time since midway through the first half.

“We were a little out of sorts,” said SMC head coach Lydia Strong. “I don’t think we came out in the second half very focused. They scored six or eight points in a row and we just couldn’t stop the bleeding.”

With all the momentum, COC build on the lead and staved off a scrappy SMC team.

Leading 73-70 with 25 seconds left and the game still in doubt, Sahagun came up with one last clutch jumper to all but seal it at 75-70.

Katt Johnson ended up with 23 points to lead the Corsairs, but she needed 38 shot attempts to do it. She also grabbed 11 rebounds.

The Cougars led 19-12 by the 10:05 mark of the first half until SMC’s Micaela Whalen knocked down three straight 3-pointers, which sparked a dominant run by the Corsairs in the last 10 minutes of the half.

Whalen ended up with 12 points, all on 3-pointers.

As a team, SMC made 7-of-17 threes in the first half and 8-of-19 in the game.

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