By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
Joshua Barnett scored 30 points and Jonah El-Farra added 17 more but it wasn’t enough as Antelope Valley exited Lee Smelser Court at the Cougar Cage with an 84-78 conference victory on Saturday night.
Canyons (7-11, 0-4) is still searching for its first Western State Conference (WSC), South Division victory having hit a rough patch to begin conference play. Antelope Valley (8-10, 2-2) is .500 vs. conference opponents after alternating wins and losses across its last four contests.
COC held a 37-25 advantage with 5:40 to go in the opening half before seeing the Marauders close the gap at 43-41 heading into halftime. AVC went on a 14-6 run to end the half as the Cougars went scoreless in the final 1:40.
El Farrah scored 10 points in the opening segment while Barnett came off the bench with nine. Barnett stayed hot in the second half shooting 7-of-11 from the floor and 4-of-8 from beyond the arc to end with a game-high 30 points. Meanwhile, El-Farra surpassed his point total with 18 rebounds including five offensive to lead all players.
Isaiah Baptista added 10 points, three rebounds and four assists while Isaiah Ortega led both sides with six assists.
AVC was led by Malachi Jones’ 24 points off the bench while Malik Larane’s 22 points were the most amongst the Marauders’ starters.
Canyons won the battle of the boards 48-29 but shot only 31.6 percent from deep and were just 50 percent (16-of-32) from the charity stripe. COC also committed 21 turnovers compared to 11 by the Marauders.
COC will next host West L.A. College at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24. That contest can be viewed live via YouTube on the Cougars Sports Network. Following that contest, Canyons travels to Glendale College at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27.