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Women's Basketball Helps Playoff Future With Win Over Mt. SAC, 64-62

Women's Basketball Helps Playoff Future With Win Over Mt. SAC, 64-62 image

The defending state champion Pasadena City College women's basketball team put itself in the position to again be one of the top four seeds in the upcoming Southern California Regional Playoffs by knocking off soon-to-be, South Coast Conference North Division champion Mt. San Antonio College, 64-62, Friday night before 200 fans at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.

The state's 5th-ranked Lancers finished the regular season with a sparkling 23-4 record and will take second place in the SCC North at 6-2. PCC handed the No. 3 Mounties (21-6) their first division loss at 6-1. Barring an upset loss to East Los Angeles on Friday, Mt. SAC will clinch the conference crown by beating the Huskies on Feb. 19.

The victory avenged a 69-46 beating by the Mounties over PCC on Jan. 27 and all but clinched at least the No. 4 seed for the Lancers. Pasadena has wins over No. 1 Ventura (handing the Pirates their only loss at 28-1) and now No. 3 Mt. SAC. Mt. San Jacinto will likely get a No. 3 seed having beaten the Lancers earlier this season. Antelope Valley was another team trying to crack the top 4.

All the more important for the Lancers is their outstanding home record in playoff games. PCC has never lost a postseason game at the HP Gym, amassing a 14-0 mark since it opened in the 1999-2000 season. Pasadena hasn't lost on campus in the playoffs since Mar. 7, 1998 when it was beaten by Fullerton College in the third round of the regionals at the W-Building gymnasium.

Against the Mounties, PCC led 31-28 at halftime, but a 9-0 scoring run to start the second half allowed Mt. SAC to grab a 37-31 advantage. Pasadena tied it at 39-39 on a fast-break basket by guard Melissa Fudge. Mt. San Antonio responded with a 7-0 run capped by a 3-point bomb by Joanna Matthews to go ahead 46-39 with 14:25 left.

PCC stormed back with a 11-2 spurt with Kim Smith's spin and layup giving the team a 50-48 edge. The back-and-forth continued until Anna Shahinian's 3-pointer from the corner put the Lancers back in front, 58-56, with 4:06 remaining. Pasadena would not relinquish that lead, using free throws to maintain the upper hand and post the key victory.

After not being a factor in the first meeting between the squads, PCC freshman center Dominique Scott came up big for the Lancers in the rematch. Scott tallied 20 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. She made 8-for-13 from the free throw line as Pasadena converted 23 of 38 shots from the 15-foot mark. 

In contrast, Mt. SAC only went to the line 14 times, making 7 shots. PCC outrebounded the Mounties, 43-33, thanks mostly to Scott's post play. 

Aiding the Lancers' cause were Fudge (5 assists) and Smith (5 rebounds) with 13 points each. Shahinian contributed 10 points. Off the bench, sophomore center Cherisa Sellers complemented Scott with 5 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals while guard Stephanie DeFrance delivered quality defense in making 6 steals. The freshman added 5 rebounds and 3 assists.

For Mt. SAC, Brittney Lewis totaled 20 points and Cecy Cuevas added 15. 

In the last 13 seasons, Mt. SAC holds a 16-11 edge in the rivalry, but the Lancers have split the past four matchups at 2-2. Both teams have combined to win the past four state titles and the pair even played in the state championship game in 2004 (won by the Mounties).

[Photo--Cherisa Sellers goes up for the rebound during PCC's 64-62 triumph over rival Mt. San Antonio Wednesday night, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 02/17/10
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu