SMC Men's Basketball tops Cougars for the second time this year


In the opening game of Western State Athletic Conference play Wednesday night, the Santa Monica College Corsairs men’s basketball team pulled out their second win over the College of the Canyons Cougars this season to move to 12-2 on the year with a final score of 91-83.

In their first meeting during the Irvine Valley Classic preseason tournament, the Corsairs escaped Hart gym with a win in a game that featured fifteen lead changes and seven ties.

“No matter who’s up twenty, or thirty, or whatever, it always seems to be a tight game in the end,” Corsairs head coach Jerome Jenkins said.

The Corsairs led with a seven-point advantage after a back and forth first half, but extended the lead to as many as 21 points during the second half.

However, poor free throw shooting was nearly the downfall of the blue and white.

COC finished the night 80 percent from the line while SMC finished at 67 percent including a series of missed free throws that allowed the Cougars to pull within four in the second half.

This is the second game in a row that the Corsairs had to survive at the end, the first being the final game of 2015 against El Camino Compton Center, that Santa Monica won in overtime.

Though he is happy with the wins, Jenkins is not happy with the way his team has played.

“They’ve been [pulling out games] all year to their credit, but I don’t like it. We’ve gotta mature a little bit more and play better,” Jenkins said.

Though, the first win of conference play got the Corsairs off to a good start, it came at a cost. With about four minutes left in the game, starting guard Mike Garcia Jr., dislocated his left shoulder for the second time this season.

At the time of his injury Garcia had 15 points and was averaging 8.8 points per game on the season.

The injury left Garcia Jr. hospitalized and there was no new information available after the game.

The Corsairs next home game will be next Wednesday at 7 p.m. versus Citrus College.