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Early Run Pays Off In End As Women's Basketball Wins HGI Classic

Early Run Pays Off In End As Women's Basketball Wins HGI Classic image

Cypress College outplayed the Pasadena City College women's basketball team for the last 31 minutes of the PCC-hosted Hilton Garden Inn Classic championship game Sunday afternoon. Fortunately for the Lancers in those opening nine minutes, they dug a hole for their opponent that it would never climb out. PCC posted a 70-61 victory to capture the season-opening tournament title.

The state No. 3-rated Lancers (3-0) stormed out of the gate with a brilliant 26-2 run that lasted 8 minutes, 20 seconds. Freshman forward Marquetta Stokes would score the game's first four baskets. Two 3-point bombs by frosh guard Vera Machado extended the lead to 17-2. By the time, freshman Destinee Sellers made a rebound and basket, PCC had built a commanding 24-point lead.

The tide of the game changed from that moment on as unranked Cypress whittled away at the PCC advantage. By halftime, the Chargers cut the PCC margin to 45-30. Guard Micaela Pickens was a huge reason Cypress battled back.

In the second half, Pickens made back-to-back, 3-point bombs that shrunk the Lancers' lead to 55-50 with 7:50 left. Cypress would get as close as four points at 57-53. With 2:20 left, Machado sank a long-range basket that gave PCC breathing room again at 65-57. In the final minute, Sellers scored four points that finally clinched the title game for the Lancers.

Overall, Stokes posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Machado finished with 13 points. Sophomore center Dominique Scott added eight points and 11 rebounds. For Cypress (2-1), Pickens was a one-player wrecking crew with 28 points, five blocks, and five steals.

PCC sophomore guard Stephanie DeFrance, a player who has been a part of the program for three years after recovering from a knee injury in 2008, was named MVP of the tourney. A steady defender and quarterback of the PCC offense, DeFrance totaled 22 points, 16 rebounds, 12 assists and eight steals in the three team wins.

In other HGI finals, Chaffey took third place with an 89-61 win over LA Southwest and Southwestern won the consolation title with a 53-40 win over San Diego City College. PCC won the Hilton tournament for the second straight season after coming up empty from 2006-2008.

The HGI 2010 All-Tournament Team

MVP-DeFrance; Scott, Stokes (PCC); Pickens (Cypress); Brittany Daniel (Southwestern), Aysha Lyons (LA Southwest), Arionne Nabors (Chaffey).

Tournament Note: PCC Head Coach Joe Peron won his milestone 350th game in the team's opening-season win over Taft. Peron is already the college's all-time leader in basketball head coaching wins.  

[Photo--PCC guard and tourney MVP Stephanie DeFrance saves a ball in play during the Lancers' 70-61 title game win over Cypress at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium Sunday, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 11/08/10
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
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