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College basketball: Cool customers

Cougars come from behind to defeat Bakersfield

Posted: January 17, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 17, 2013 2:00 a.m.

COC's David Horst (11) and Bakersfield's Taevawne Morrison (42) fight for a rebound at COC on Wednesday.

 

The theme of anyone coming up big on any given night has spilled over to the conference season for College of the Canyons men’s basketball.

So has the team’s ability to deliver in clutch situations.

COC overcame a halftime deficit and held on for an 84-81 win over Bakersfield College on Wednesday at COC in a matchup of two unbeaten teams in the Western State Conference, South Division.

The Cougars (13-6, 3-0) are now the last undefeated team in the conference.

“We have several different guys that can make plays and finish,” said COC head coach Howard Fisher.

On Wednesday, it was Temjae Singleton who made plays early and Ron Harris and Jaylen Bland who made them late.

Singleton led all scorers with 24 points on 7-of-9 shooting while Harris added 18 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, many of which came at key points late in the game.

Bland contributed 17 points and four clutch free throws in the final 1:52 of the game to help seal it.

After the teams battled and changed leads 11 times, the Cougars took the upper hand for good with 6:59 left, 68-67.

From then on in, Bland scored six of his points and fellow guard Terrez Scott scored all four of his points during the final stretch. He also finished with 10 assists.

Scott drained a key jumper with 3:48 to play to give the Cougars a 75-69 lead. That turned out to be COC’s final made field goal of the game.

“Our team is very comfortable (in close games) because we know what we’re capable of,” Scott said. “In situations like that, it shouldn’t have even been close.”

In the final minutes, COC made just enough free throws and just enough plays on defense to hang on.

“We talked about stepping it up a little bit and executing,” Fisher said. “Our offense did what we were capable of.”

COC got off to a quick start, taking a 23-16 lead midway through the first half.

With many Cougar players battling the flu and what Fisher called a “sluggish” effort after that, Bakersfield (8-6, 2-1) battled back with a 14-3 run to steal the lead away.

The Renegades led 41-36 at the half behind 52 percent shooting.

Conroy Lester scored 13 points to lead Bakersfield, which had five players score in double figures.

“We competed very well. We knew (COC) was a good team,” said Bakersfield head coach Rich Hughes. “We had some good sequences, but in order to beat a team like that, we can’t allow 84 points.”

dagnew@signalscv.com

661-287-5530

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