By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
With under five seconds to go in the game, College of the Canyons sophomore guard Theresa Garcia came up with the biggest steal of her career then quickly converted on a short game-winning jump shot to push the Lady Cougars past visiting Santa Monica College 66-65 on Saturday at the newly reopened Cougar Cage.
Canyons (7-8, 2-0) has now won back-to-back games to begin Western State Conference (WSC), South Division play.
Garcia finished the game with four points, four rebounds and the key steal over 11 minutes of action, but was essential in securing the victory for Canyons. Her swipe of Santa Monica forward Danielle Roberts came mere moments after Malia Semana’s missed jump shot, which appeared to be COC’s last gasp.
Instead, Garcia’s bucket forced Santa Monica (7-9, 1-1) to take its final timeout in hopes of setting up a last-second shot. The Corsairs did manage to get a shot off but it was no good, sending the Lady Cougars onto the floor in celebration.
The victory was the first for COC in its newly reopened gymnasium which recently underwent a series of renovations including a resurfaced playing floor, new bleachers, lights and ceiling.
Canyons earned the win despite shooting just 30 percent from the floor and just over 20 percent from behind the arc.
COC freshman Diamyn Davis led all scorers with 18 points to go with 15 rebounds. Her 10 points in the first half helped the Lady Cougars establish a 37-29 lead at the break.
Angelica Oliveros was 5-of-12 on the night to finish with 14 points. McKenzie Stoehr was next with 10 points, while forward Danny Diaz pulled down 15 rebounds, dished out four assists and recorded three steals.
SMC outscored Canyons in the second half but was unable to come all the back. Corsairs reserve forward Chassen Gutierrez led Santa Monica with 12 points.
COC head coach Greg Herrick now sits at 596 career wins at the college.
Canyons continues conference play with a road trip to L.A. Valley College (7-9, 1-1) at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
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.