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College basketball: Reigning with 3s

Jaylen Bland hits seven from behind the arc as COC earns win

Posted: December 20, 2012 9:02 p.m.
Updated: December 20, 2012 9:02 p.m.

College of the Canyon's Jaylen Bland (5) shoots a 3-pointer against El Camino defender Marcus Clark (33) at COC on Thursday.

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College of the Canyons guard Jaylen Bland didn’t know any other way to explain the night he had.

“I don’t know,” the sophomore transfer said after making 7-of-9 three-point attempts and scoring 30 points and 10 rebounds. “It was just one of those nights.”

Bland and the rest of the Cougars shot well from long range on the way to a 79-66 win over El Camino College on Thursday at COC.

Overall, the Cougars (8-4) went 12-of-20 from beyond the arc, which helped them pull way ahead late in the first half.

The 44-31 halftime lead was enough of a cushion for COC to hold off a hard-charging Warriors team late in the game.

“We knew they were going to play zone,” said COC head coach Howard Fisher of taking advantage of El Camino. “We have some very good shooters on this team.”

It was a tight game for the first 15 minutes, as El Camino (4-5) pulled ahead 20-16 early thanks to 11 first-half points from David Howard. He ended up with a team-high 18 for the Warriors.

The Cougars closed the gap quickly and pulled in front with a 17-3 run in the final 5:15 of the half.

At that point, Bland already had 18 of his points off six threes.

“They were playing the 2-3 zone so I knew there were going to be open shots and open spots on the floor,” Bland said.

Tyler Barber chipped in 13 points and Valencia High graduate David Horst added 12 points and eight rebounds off the bench.

When the Warriors switched to man-to-man defense in the second half, the game slowed down significantly.

El Camino closed to within 63-57 at one point following a 14-5 run, but Bland immediately answered with his final 3-pointer of the game as the Cougars scored six straight to pull away for good.

Joshua Wilson tallied 16 points for El Camino and COC forward Temjae Singleton scored 10 points to become the team’s fourth player in double figures.

Fisher said that kind of spread out scoring is something this team tries to emphasize.

“We like a lot of good ball movement,” Fisher said. “Finding the open man and making good basketball plays.”

Thursday’s game was the Cougars’ first at home since Nov. 10. COC will remain at home for the Cougar Holiday Classic running from Dec. 27-29.

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