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College basketball: A tough night for the Cougs

Long Beach pulls away early against Canyons

Posted: March 1, 2013 10:11 p.m.
Updated: March 1, 2013 10:11 p.m.
 

The College of the Canyons women’s basketball team was in trouble from the beginning on Friday night in the second round of the Southern California Regional playoffs against Long Beach City College.

The No. 9-seeded Cougars never led in the contest and trailed by as many as 35 before falling 75-41 to the No. 8-seeded Vikings.

“They were just so strong defensively,” said COC head coach Greg Herrick. “They get after you and got us out of what we were trying to do. When we got the ball near the basket we turned it over. When we got in transition where we thought we had a chance to score, we turned it over.”

College of the Canyons struggled to protect the ball, as well, turning the ball over 31 times.

Those turnovers led to 28 points for the Cougars, who in turn scored just six points off turnovers themselves.

Shawn Kolani was the only Cougar to score in double figures, posting a game-high 16 points, including going 4-of-9 from 3-point range.

Things were more spread out for Long Beach, with had four players score in double figures, led by Jasmine Williams’ 15 points. Shakeena Benton scored 14 and Kaaron King and Destinn Romain each had 12.

“They have a lot of depth,” Herrick said. “They can bring in fresh players and that’s not one of our strengths. It’s funny, you look for matchups and we didn’t match up to them very well.”

The Long Beach bench also got in on the action, outscoring COC 27-9 — no COC bench player scored a point in the first half in a combined 22 minutes of action.

The Cougars traditional fast-break offense didn’t faze Long Beach, which held COC to just 26.9 percent shooting from the field.

On the other end of the court, things were going much better for the Vikings, shooting 43.5 percent.

COC trailed 35-18 at the half, before being outscored 40-23 in the second half.

“That was the best defense we faced this year,” Herrick said. “They do a great job. Not only do they defend you aggressively on the perimeter but the interior defenders blocked our shots and took away everything we were trying to do.”

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