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College women’s basketball: COC weathers Corsairs’ storm

Santa Monica’s second half run not enough

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

Things got interesting between the College of the Canyons Cougars women’s basketball team and the Santa Monica Corsairs on Saturday night at COC.

But in the end, the Cougars held off a second-half Corsairs’ run to pull away down the stretch in an 84-68 victory.

Dalisa Chapman led COC with 19 points, including 15 in the second half, Hope Smith scored 15 and Earnika Clemmons and Keiona Mathews each came off the bench to score 14.

It looked like the Cougars (19-8 overall, 9-2 Western State Conference, South) would cruise to a comfortable victory over Santa Monica (9-16, 1-9), leading 38-26 at halftime and firmly in control.

But the Corsairs made a run to start the second half, closing to within 53-52 with 12 minutes and 40 seconds remaining.

“We have a tendency to read scoreboards and think that’s enough,” said COC head coach Greg Herrick. “I have to remind them sometimes the game is 40 minutes and not 20.”

The Cougars seemed to hear that message loud and clear, outscoring Santa Monica 31-16 from that point on.

“A lot of times you lose a lead and you get a little afraid and frustrated,” Herrick said. “I never felt we were going to lose the game. I just didn’t like the way we were playing it. We turned the notch up to a five or six instead of a three.”

The Cougars currently sit in second place in the Western State Conference, South Division with one game to play. COC will travel to Glendale on Wednesday.

COC, which has won the past seven conference titles, trails L.A. Valley by one game, with two games remaining for the Monarchs.

“This is kind of uncharted waters for us,” Herrick said. “We’ll deal with it. Our idea is to win out and go to the playoffs and do some damage. Hopefully we’re mentally ready.”

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