Sophomore center Bezait Anbesse scored 49 points and pulled down 29 rebounds as Taft College split a pair of non-conference weekend games.
The 6-foot-2 post from Logan, Utah led the Cougars with 25 points and 10 rebounds in a 84-63 loss at Bakersfield College Friday and fed off that for a 24-point, 19-rebound effort the next night in a 68-61 victory over Southwestern College in Chula Vista.
“She’s been playing very well for us,” said head coach Tyrone Taylor. “We’ve been trying to get her the ball more.”
The Cougars got off to a slow start at BC, trailing 38-27 at halftime. Both teams picked up the pace in the second half with the Renegades out-pointing Taft 46-36.
Sophomore guard Zanoria Echols scored 13 points and had 7 rebounds while freshman guard Ramonique Redding also had 13 points and pulled down 4 boards.
The Southwestern game was a back-and-forth affair until the Cougars pulled ahead late.
“We pulled away a little and were able to hold onto the lead at the end,” said assistant coach Karaya Gage.
Crystallyn Faletoi, a 6-foot freshman from Olympus, Utah, led Cougar scorers with 25 points and added 3 rebounds.
Echols scored 8 points and had 9 rebounds.
In addition to being on the road the Cougars have hampered by injuries.
Leading scorer Erica Evans, who is averaging 18.5 points a game, has missed the last four games with an ankle injury, sophomore guard Schalon Baysinger is out with a leg injury and starter Shelly Gill was sidelined with asthma.
“We played with just seven players against Southwestern,” Taylor said. “We’re really tired and beat up right now. We find out today (Monday) if Erica will be able be back this week.”
Baysinger has not yet been released to play by her family physician.
The Cougars will be in San Diego this weekend for the San Diego City College tournament. They will play L.A. Trade Tech (0-4) on Friday, West Hills-Lemoore (3-6) on Saturday and Victor Valley (2-6) on Sunday.
The Cougars are 5-7 heading into the tournament and will take a couple of weeks off before returning to the court Jan. 4 in Sacramento against Cosumnes River College (8-3) in their 16th consecutive road game.
TC won’t get to play in the Al Baldock Cougar Sports Center until Jan. 9 when Reedley College comes to town to christen the Central Valley Conference season.