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Cougars Start Strong, Finish Opening Weekend 2-0

COC men's basketball vs. Oxnard College on Nov. 2, 2019.

Story and photo by Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director 

OXNARD, Calif. — College of the Canyons picked up a pair of victories after a strong showing at the season-opening 'Clash at Canyons/Oxnard' played Nov. 1-2.

Canyons (2-0) started the weekend with a 66-62 comeback victory over Cuyamaca College, in which the Cougars played through a 21-point deficit to earn the win.

Cuyamaca (0-2) built a 29-21 lead heading into halftime, but could not hold on vs. a COC team that saw three starters score in double figures.

Freshman guard Christopher Bradford and sophomore Zach Phipps tied for the team lead with 15 points. Sophomore Jordan Nash scored 14 points, adding five rebounds, three steals and two assists.

Virgil Mahoney had a game-high 13 boards while Bradford added 10 of his own. Phipps, the Cougars' lone returning starter from a season ago, had six rebounds in the game.

As a team, Canyons was 21-of-28 from the free-throw line compared to just 5-of-10 from Cuyamaca.

In Saturday action, COC flexed its muscle with a 104-74 win over host Oxnard College (0-2).

The Cougars led 51-36 at the break, before eventually topping the 100-point plateau. COC had not scored 100 points since the 2017-18 season opener, which coincidentally was also vs. the Condors.

All five Canyons starters scored in double-digits led by a game-high 20 from Phipps. Nash was second on the squad with 19 points matched with a game-high six assists and three steals.

Michael Davidson finished with 15 points, while Bradford and sophomore Jah-Kez Moore both checked in with 13.

Robert Hunter led the reserves with eight points and a game-high 17 rebounds, with 14 coming off the offensive glass. Moore recorded 14 rebounds in the game, nine of the offensive variety.

Those second-chance opportunities helped the Cougars to shoot better than 44 percent from the floor.

Canyons is starting the season 2-0 for the first time since the 2012-13 campaign, the same season in which the Cougars won their most recent Western State Conference (WSC) championship.

Up next, COC travels to face Cypress College at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9.

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.