Behind 24 points from Shane Carney and a double-double by Devin Davis, the Allan Hancock College men's basketball team survived a late scare by the visiting Cuesta Cougars to defeat its Central Coast rival 83-80 in a key Western State Conference showdown Wednesday evening inside Joe White Memorial Gymnasium. The Bulldogs improved to 2-1 in conference and 15-8 overall. The Cougars fell to 1-2 in league and 11-13 overall.
Leading 19-18 midway through the first half, the Bulldogs outscored the Cougars 23-9 the rest of the way to carry a 42-27 lead into halftime. The 15-point margin was the Bulldogs' largest lead of the game. Hancock shot 63 percent in the first half, compared to 38 percent for the Cougars. The Bulldogs went 7-for-11 from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes, while Cuesta went 2-for-11. Davis led Hancock with 11 points in the first half, while Carney added eight and freshman guard Glenn Jordan had seven more.
The two teams went back and forth in the second half with Hancock maintaining an 11-point lead at 79-68 with 2:10 to play. A Nico Gonzalez 3-pointer and two free throws and a layup from Noah Saunders narrowed the Hancock lead to 79-75 with 1:40 remaining. A Davis layup and two free throws from Carney gave Hancock an 83-77 lead with less than a minute to go. Josh Wilson-Murry hit a 3-pointer to make it a one-possession game. The Cougars had two more attempts to tie it, but could not connect allowing the Bulldogs to emerge victorious.
Carney finished the night with 24 points on 7-for-12 shooting from the field and a 5-for-9 effort from 3-point range. The sophomore sank five of his eight free throws and added three rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Davis tied a career high with 23 points behind an 11-for-14 effort from the floor. He pulled down 10 rebounds to earn his team-best fifth double-double. Jordan hit 2-of-4 from beyond-the-arc and 4-of-7 from the field overall to add 10 points. The freshman recorded seven assists and four rebounds. Diego Lucas went 2-for-3 from long-range to finish with eight points, three assists and two steals. Freshman Trenton Mitchell added six points and five boards.
Hancock finished the game shooting 56 percent overall, and hit 11 of its 21 shots from long-range for a 52 percent performance. The Bulldogs made 10-of-16 from the line.
Cuesta shot 59 percent in the second half and hit nine 3-pointers to narrow the 15-point halftime deficit to three points. Saunders led the Cougars with 25 points, while Finn Whetstone contributed 22 points and Gonzalez chipped in 17. Overall, the Cougars shot 50 percent on the night and went 11-for-27 from 3-point range. The Cougars struggled from the free-throw line and sank only half of their 22 free throws. The Bulldogs went 10-for-15 from the line.
Hancock travels to Oxnard on Saturday to face the Condors at 3 p.m. in a conference battle.