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By Brandon Johnson/COC Sports Information

College of the Canyons’ men’s basketball team rallied from a late five-point deficit and moved into the conference top spot one win away from winning a conference championship, with a hard-fought 81-77 victory over visiting Bakersfield College on Wednesday night in the Cougar Cage.

The Cougars (14-12, 5-2) will travel to West L.A. College (17-10, 5-2) on Saturday, Feb. 17, with the winner claiming the Western State Conference South Division title.

On Wednesday, the Cougars were led by Robert Moss who poured in a career-high 23 points, including five baskets from behind the arc. Jude Agbasi came off the bench to score 16 points, while Frankie Campbell posted a double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds.

The Cougars opened a five-point lead in the early going as Campbell and Moss connected on back-to-back three-pointers. The lead reached nine on an Agbasi layup midway through the half.

The Renegades rallied with a 6-0 run of their own, but Anthony Simone capped off a strong first half for the Cougars with a layup that beat the halftime buzzer. COC entered intermission with a 43-33 lead.

The Renegades came out firing in the second half, led by the strong play of Jaylunn English who scored 19 of his game-high 30 points after the break. His slam dunk cut the Cougar lead to five in the early going to kick start Bakersfield.

Just minutes later, Bakersfield (13-13, 4-4) went on a 12-1 run capped off by a deep three from Henry Galinato to open a 68-63 lead.

This time, it was the Cougars who rallied and cut the lead to one on a layup from Philip Webb. Then Michael Kalu hit a three from the top of the key to give the Cougars a 72-70 lead, an advantage they would never relinquish.

COC made 9-of-10 free throws down the stretch to put the game on ice.

Here’s the box score.

Prior to tip-off, there was a short ceremony honoring COC sophomores Moss, Campbell, Kalu, Jacob Lilley and Webb who played their final regular-season home contest in the Cougar Cage.

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.

— Photos by Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director (click here for more game photos)

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