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The "Comeback Cougars" come up short

The "Comeback Cougars" come up short

The Lassen College men's basketball team opened up their 2022-23 season on the road at the San Jose City College Tip-Off, which took place from Thursday, November 3 to Saturday, November 5. The Cougars battled against three very talented teams but dropped all three games. First to the host #7 San Jose 83-99, then Monterrey Peninsula 63-72, and then finally #16 College of San Mateo 57-76.

The first matchup against San Jose had both teams trading baskets early, with Joey Summers leading the charge, starting the game 4-for-4 from three until an injury took him out for the rest of the game and weekend. The Jaguars were able to capitalize and jumped out to a big lead. San Jose led by as much as 29 points, but the Cougars battled back within four points with under eight minutes to play. In the end, San Jose's physicality was too much for Lassen to overcome as they fell 83-99. Darien Guyton led the Cougars in scoring with 13 points.

The next day the Cougars took on Monterrey Peninsula College (MPC). This game was close throughout the entire contest. Lassen jumped out to a 3-point lead with 6 minutes left in the game but couldn't keep their poise down the stretch, as costly turnovers ended up being the teams undoing. MPC walked away with the win 63-72. Evan Calwell led the Cougasr in scoring with 16 points.

On the final day of the Tipoff, the Cougars took on the Bulldogs of San Mateo. It was an ugly game early; neither team was able to find much of an offensive rhythm. However, San Mateo was able to jump out on an 18-2 run to start the second half, which seemed to demoralize Lassen. But the Cougars were able to regroup and fight back to get within seven points but ran out of gas. Lassen lost 57-76. Mason Saso led the Cougars in scoring with 18 points.

"This group showed they have the firepower on offense the hang with anyone and, at times, showed they can be stingy defensively. The issue is that we need to maintain our poise and focus for the entire 40 minutes. Too many times, we are leaving points on the table and beating ourselves. This is to be expected after what we went through last year. This year's team has the talent, they just need to learn how to win," said Head Coach Will Freedman.

Next week is another tough road trip where Lassen will travel to Sacramento to take on De Anza College, and American River College then takes on #10 Las Positas College in Livermore for a single.