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Women's Hoops Stun State No. 6 Cerritos, 78-66

Women's Hoops Stun State No. 6 Cerritos, 78-66 image

For at least one evening, the Pasadena City College women's basketball team found the tonic that has made the Lancers one of the state's finest programs over the past decade. PCC head coach Joe Peron made changes in his rotation scheme and it resulted in an upset victory over state No. 6-ranked Cerritos College, 78-66, Wednesday night. The win by the South Coast Conference's fifth-place and unranked Lancers over the second-place Falcons fueled Pasadena's quest for a 2012 playoff berth.

"I told the team how often do you get to play the number 2 and number 1 teams in the conference at home in the same week?" Peron said. "Since we're improving as a team, we should be able to put together two great games in one week. Plus the team recognized they have had two weeks of good practices leading up to this week."

Peron's Lancers now take on the SCC giant in first-place Mt. San Antonio Friday, Feb. 3 in a 5 p.m. conference tip-off at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium. PCC climbed over the .500 mark overall at 12-11 and in SCC games at 6-5. Cerritos fell to 19-6 and 9-3 in conference.

The team's win over Cerritos was bizarre from a statistical standpoint, including the fact the team was badly outrebounded by the Falcons, 71-44. While PCC's second-leading scorer Stella Ghazarian was limited to just four points, sophomore guard Vera Machado played her finest game in her Lancers' career. Machado came off the bench to score a season-high 20 points, grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds, and sparked PCC with tenacious defense (three steals) and hustle.

"To be outrebounded by nearly 30 and win is a miracle," Peron said. "A key for us was our team defense, and then constantly substituting five players at a time. It helped keep us fresh throughout the game. Finally, we made our free throws, which had been a problem for us all season."

PCC trailed most of the first half, but scored the final six points of the period. Center Tonisha Lacey's fast-break basket off a pass from Marquetta Stokes at the first-half buzzer gave the team the lead, 26-24.

In the second half, Cerritos kept it tight until Machado rained in a pair of 3-pointers during a 10-2 run that gave PCC a 48-38 advantage. The Lancers never looked back and converted their free throws when the Falcons constantly fouled them over the final few minutes. In the final four minutes, PCC made 18 of 24 free throws, including a stretch of nine consecutive makes. Overall, the team sank 34-of-47 shots from the line, a 72.3 percent accuracy.

Stokes, a sophomore forward, delivered a team-high 24 points, making 12 of 21 from the line. She pulled down nine rebounds, dished out four assists and had three of the team's 16 steals. Transfer point guard Tiffany Thompson was a wizard at the free throw line (9-for-10) as part of her 11 points as was Machado, who converted 10-for-12 at the stripe.

For Cerritos, Marissa Rendon scored 23 points. She was one of four Falcons who fouled out of the game. Overall, Cerritos was whistled for 31 fouls. PCC won the ball-handling battle easily, making just 13 turnovers compared to 31 by Cerritos.

Freshman guard Sabrina Martinez, sophomore forward Destinee Sellers, and Lacey each provided the team with pressure defense to go with the high-energy play of Machado, Stokes, and Thompson.

[Photo--Vera Machado brings the ball upcourt as her teammates cheer her on during the Lancers' 78-66 win over Cerritos Wednesday at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 02/02/12
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu