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Cougars Rally But Can't Comeback 85-76 vs. West L.A.

COC men's basketball student-athlete Christopher Bradford vs. West L.A. on Feb. 19, 2020 in the Cougar Cage.

Story and photo by Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director 

College of the Canyons battled back from a 19-point halftime deficit but were unable to get all the way back, eventually dropping an 85-76 final score to visiting West L.A. College at the Cougar Cage on Wednesday.

The loss came in the final home game of the season for Canyons (9-16, 2-11) which had previously defeated the Wildcats (20-7, 9-4) in a road contest played Jan. 25.

COC was able to tie the game at 70-70 with just over four minutes to play when sophomore forward Jay-Kez Moore buried a jump shot that gave the Cougars new life. Canyons would get no closer however, as West L.A. promptly rattled off seven straight points en route to a 16-6 run to close the game out. 

Still, COC drew to within five points with under a minute to go in an effort to give the team's four sophomores a chance to go out winners in their final game at the Cougar Cage.

Canyons shot just better than 40 percent from the floor led by a 17-point performance by guard Christopher Bradford. The freshman also dished out 11 assists and made an impact on the defensive end with three steals, a block and four rebounds. 

Sophomore Robert Hunter turned in his strongest game of the season, finishing with 16 points on a 7-of-12 shooting night to go with eight rebounds. 

Moore and fellow sophomore Zach Phipps posted 12 and 10 points, respectively. The latter also pulled down seven rebounds with two blocks.

Virgil Mahoney had an impact on the glass, once again, with nine rebounds alongside five points in the paint. Michael Davidson led the reserves with 12 points in 22 minutes of action. 

West L.A. got a big boost from its bench as its highest scorer, forward Derrick Woods, tallied 19 points with 11 rebounds, including eight off the offensive glass. Christian McCray's 18 points also helped the Wildcats' effort.

Prior to tip, COC honored its four sophomores — Phipps, Moore, Hunter and injured point guard Jordan Nash — with a brief ceremony recognizing their contributions to the Cougars' program. 

Canyons will close the 2019-20 season with a road affair vs. Bakersfield College at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21.

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.