By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
LANCASTER, Calif. — After losing its previous two games by a combined five points, College of the Canyons rebounded with a thrilling 69-67 conference road win vs. host Antelope Valley College on Wednesday.
Canyons (6-8, 1-0), which has played all but one game on the road this season, trailed entering the second quarter but was able to put together a run and eventually tie the game at 30-30 on a layup and long jump shot by sophomore forward Christian Patron, which came on back-to-back possessions.
Patron continued to lead the way with a team-high 21 points on a 9-of-15 shooting night. She also added seven rebounds, two assists and a block. The sophomore entered Wednesday's contest ranked third in the WSC and 20th in the state with 18.5 points per game to go with a 51 percent field goal percentage, good for the conference's No. 5 slot.
Freshman Diamyn Davis put the Cougars ahead with a trio of converted foul shots, then Danny Diaz hit a jump shot to make it a 35-30 Canyons advantage. COC was able to prolong that surge long enough to take a 39-34 lead into the halftime locker room. Sophomore guard Krystal Amato added five key points in the quarter to help put the Cougars ahead.
The second-quarter output by Canyons proved to be the difference in the game, however, as Antelope Valley (5-10, 0-1) outscored the Cougars 33-30 in the second half.
Clinging to a one-point lead heading into the fourth quarter Canyons once again looked to Amato for a boost. Her back-to-back jump shots early on in the final frame put COC ahead 60-56 with 7:13 to go in the game.
Things progressed slowly until McKenzie Stoehr hit a key bucket to tie the game at 64-64 with 2:26 remaining. Davis extended the lead to 66-64 with two points in the paint.
With the game once again tied and under 30 second to go, Amato rose up for what proved to be the game winning shot, giving Canyons the 69-67 lead.
The Marauders had a chance to tie it up once again with under two seconds to play, but was unable to convert on a pair of free throws that clanged off the rim and allowed the final seconds to tick of the clock.
Amato finished the game with 16 points including seven in the fourth quarter. She recorded a game-high eight assists and found her way to six rebounds. Davis and Stoehr both ended the contest with 11 points.
COC will play its first true home game of the season vs. Santa Monica College (7-8, 1-0) at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11 at the Cougar Cage. General admission tickets are $5.
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.