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Cougars Survive Second-Half Horror

Posted: January 24, 2008 11:32 a.m.
Updated: March 26, 2008 2:02 a.m.
 
College of the Canyons women's basketball head coach Greg Herrick has a way of mixing frustration with humor.

On Wednesday night, after a 95-91 Western State Conference win over Los Angeles Valley College where the Cougars gave up 61 second-half points at home, Herrick used both to vent about his team's effort on the defensive end.
"If there were five dead people out there, they would have scored. Or we would have fouled them," Herrick said. "That's the most points we've ever given up in a half. I think it's maybe the worst defensive performance from a team I've coached - not just here- in 30 years that we've ever had."
After taking a 42-30 lead into halftime, the Cougars came out and extended that lead to 17 points in the first 3:20 of the second half.
The Monarchs (12-12, 2-1) chipped away at the lead over the next three minutes, which is when Valley's Mariam Asaryan heated up, connecting on three straight 3-pointers.
Her final trey of that run cut L.A. Valley's deficit to 58-50 with 10:54 to go in the game.
Luckily for COC (14-7, 4-0), it was hitting free throws with ease to close out the game. Over the final 9:52, the Cougars converted 15-of-16 from the charity stripe, including 11-of-12 in that time from Kelly O'Linn, who finished with a team-high 22 points.
"We made our free throws at the end. That's pretty much what saved us," said Britney Bradley, who finished with 17 points and nine assists. "I think we were up and fell back a bit. We didn't play as hard as we should have played. We didn't contest their shots."
Bradley hit 10 of her points in the final 3:48 of the game, helping to keep her team afloat after a furious run by L.A. Valley.
"I was just thinking, 'We are ahead. We are 3-0 in league and we can't lose,'" Bradley said. "We are trying to go undefeated in league. I was just doing what I had to do."
For the Monarchs, Shawn Berina scored a game-high 26 points, leading a quintet of L.A. Valley players who notched double digits in the game.
A pair of free throws by Berina with six seconds to go cut COC's lead to 93-91, but O'Linn converted two free throws on the other end to put the game out of reach.
Andrea Bobic finished with a double-double for COC, scoring 19 points and pulling down 17 rebounds.
"We were just lucky to win that game," Herrick said. "It's scary scoring (95) points and being lucky."


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