Story and photo by Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
Freshman Denzel Nwanguma converted on a pair of clutch free throws late in the game to seal a 74-72 road win over L.A. Pierce College on Wednesday, keeping College of the Canyons in contention in the Western State Conference (WSC), South Division.
Nwanguma finished the game with 11 points, eight assists and six rebounds. He was 7-of-8 from the foul line.
Canyons also received a 24-point performance from sophomore Jude Agbasi, who led the way with a team-high 11 rebounds.
The Cougars opened up a 46-23 first half lead behind Agbasi's hot shooting and sophomore Anthony Simone's presence in the middle.
Agbasi was 5-of-7 from in the field in the first half, while Simone and freshman Zach Phipps each added nine first-half points. Nwanguma, who ranks first in the conference at 5.1 assists per game, distributed the ball with efficiency throughout the contest, collecting six assists in the opening half.
Simone finished the game with 18 points on an efficient 8-of-13 shooting night to go with 10 boards. He entered the game ranked third in the WSC with a 59.8 field goal percentage. Phipps ended his night with 12 points and five rebounds.
The Cougars (11-13, 2-2) and Santa Monica (14-10, 2-2) both sit a game behind first place West L.A. (17-7, 3-1) and Bakersfield (15-8, 3-1) in the WSC, South standings.
COC will next host Bakersfield at 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 in the Cougar Cage. That contest will be live-streamed to fans through a partnership with Waldcast.com.
Stay up to date on all this season's action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.