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Men's college basketball: Cold ending

COC men can’t find the hoop late

Posted: February 2, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 2, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Cougars forward Rafael Love shoots over Citrus College guard Brandon Woods on Wednesday night at COC.

 

College of the Canyons men’s basketball spotted itself a 12-point lead early in the game and managed to hang onto it almost the entire way.

Almost.

The Cougars didn’t make a field goal in the final 2:40 of an 87-82 loss against Western State Conference, South Division-leading Citrus College other than a meaningless layup with 2 seconds to go.

“We had to protect the house on this one,” said COC guard Brad Wyche, who finished with 13 points and was one of five Cougars in double figures.

“Tough game. We just couldn’t get things to go our way at the end.”

Rafael Love led COC with 19 points and Hart High graduate Roman Delgado chipped in 14 points.

COC (12-11, 3-5) scored 11 straight points in the opening five minutes of the game to build a 15-3 lead against Citrus (21-1, 8-0), which came into the game on an eight-game winning streak.

“They’re 21-1 for a reason,” said COC head coach Howard Fisher. “They seem to find a way. They’re a very good team and I think our players know they can play to that level.”

Bolstered by a 57-percent shooting performance in the first half, COC led 46-40 by halftime and maintained the lead until the 7:39 mark of the second half.

Fortunes changed after halftime, and the Owls were the ones who started making jumpshots, leading to an 11-0 run to help retake the lead.

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