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COC struggles with BC’s style

Cougars can’t handle Renegades’ press defense, fall to 9-17 on season

Posted: February 5, 2009 1:58 a.m.
Updated: February 5, 2009 4:55 a.m.

College of the Canyons' Brannon Bradley backs in Bakersfield's Marquise Venson Wednesday at College of the Canyons.

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The Bakersfield College men’s basketball team tries to lure opponents into its up-and-down game.

Wednesday afternoon, College of the Canyons fell right into the trap.

The Renegades built an 11-point lead by halftime before pulling away midway through the second half and picking up a 102-82 victory over the Cougars at College of the Canyons.

“We simply didn’t execute our game plan well enough,” said COC head coach Howard Fisher. “That style took us out of what we wanted to do, and we turned the ball over.”

The turnovers came mostly because of Bakersfield College’s press defense, which the Renegades (20-7, 5-2) set up by shooting 58.5 percent for the game, including 56.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Renegades point guard Ricky Wofford went 5-of-5 from downtown on his way to 15 points, including four 3-pointers in the first half.

Brannon Bradley responded for College of the Canyons (9-17, 2-6) by attacking the basket and pouring in 15 of his team-high 19 points before halftime.

But even he acknowledged his team’s struggles against the press.

“We’ve got to stop putting the ball on the ground,” Bradley said. “We got caught up in their game, and they just ran with it.”

The Cougars were able to break the press during stretches of the game, which helped them stay within striking distance in the first half.

“I think when we were disciplined, we executed our game plan against the press,” Fisher said. “We got some good looks at the basket, some layups. We got fouled.”

Free throws were another big reason that Bakersfield College didn’t put the game away in the first half. The Renegades only hit 5-of-12 from the stripe, and while the Cougars went 11-of-17, they were able to get to the line consistently and slow down the tempo.

“I know (Bakersfield College) uses a lot of their fouls,” Fisher said. “They play a lot of guys. We focused on free throws in practice and we shot them well in practice.”

The game was a different story.

College of the Canyons finished 26-of-45 from the free throw line, and as Bradley noted, it made a significant difference.

“We knew we were going to be able to get to the free throw line, but we’ve got to just make our free throws,” he said. “We missed 19 in the (game), and we lost by 20.”

Justin Smith scored 17 points for College of the Canyons, while Jason Holzwarth added 14. E.J. Kirby scored 22 to lead Bakersfield College. Jamar Harrison added 18 and Skyler Vaden had 15.


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