Sports in the News
Women's Basketball Pulls Off Another Big Upset, Downs No. 7 ELAC, 60-56
High off of consecutive victories last week over the previous top two teams in the South Coast Conference, the East Los Angeles College women's basketball team came into Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium Wednesday as the new second place team in the SCC and sporting the state's No. 7 ranking. The Huskies' chances looked good v. the unranked Lancers considering they had already beaten them twice this season.
But as Cerritos College learned earlier this month, PCC has a knack for playing its best basketball on its home floor. The host Lancers upset high-ranked Cerritos back on Feb. 1, then summoned some more magic in shocking East LA, 60-56, in PCC's final regular season home game.
With the huge victory, the Lancers (15-12 overall, 9-6 and in fifth place in the SCC) strengthened their postseason playoff chances. PCC closes out the conference and regular season Friday, Feb. 17 at Los Angeles Southwest. Tip-off for that contest is 6 p.m.
Against the Huskies (21-6, 11-4), PCC played hard defense and used a Tonisha Lacey bucket with two seconds left to go into halftime trailing by one, 32-31. ELAC scored the first eight points of the second half before the Lancers went on their biggest rally. PCC put together a 16-0 run over a span of six minutes to pull ahead 47-40.
During the spurt, Lacey, Marquetta Stokes and Vera Machado all scored baskets on second chances following PCC offensive rebounds. With the Lancers holding on to a 51-47 lead, Stella Ghazarian hit maybe the game's most important basket--sinking the team's only 3-pointer (and her lone points) of the game from the corner with 3:15 remaining.
The Lancers had their best night of the season at the free throw line, sealing the win with six straight makes in the last 32 seconds. Overall, PCC converted an outstanding 25 of 32 attempts for a 78.1 percent accuracy.
Stokes, a sophomore forward, led the Lancers with 18 points, making 8-for-10 from the line. Machado, a sophomore guard, came off the bench to score 16, including a perfect 8-for-8 on free throws. Machado added seven rebounds. Lacey, the team's sophomore center, tallied 14 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and also led the Lancers in blocks (four) and steals (four).
Another sophomore with a big defensive performance was forward Destinee Sellers, who also pulled down 13 boards and scored four points. Sellers had many important rebounds over the final 10 minutes on both ends of the floor.
"The sophomores played more minutes tonight because they performed at a high level," Lancers' Head Coach Joe Peron said. "We didn't let East LA beat us up on the boards. We did a great job of forcing them into poor shots. Finally, we concentrated at the line better than we've done all season. It's an important win and hopefully it will help us advance to the playoffs."
ELAC made just 21 of 87 shots from the field (24.1 percent). Jamie Robinson led the Huskies with 15 points and 16 rebounds. PCC's defense slowed down Keyanna Johnson to just 12 points. Johnson had been a big factor in the previous two wins over PCC as she scored 17 in the first win and 27 in the second contest. Johnson's twin sister just happens to be PCC assistant coach Kinyada Johnson, who provided the Lancers players with some insight on how to stop her talented sibling.
[Photo--It was sophomore night in the final home game for the Lancers, and it wasn't a coincidence that five of the team's veteran players were on the floor at the end of PCC's victory over favored East LA Wednesday night.]
Release Date: 02/15/12