Bench A Difference In Women's Basketball Win Over Cerritos
One only has to look at the final game box to see how the state No. 11-ranked Pasadena City College women's basketball team's second string proved to be an important factor in the Lancers' 54-51, South Coast Conference victory over Cerritos College at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium Wednesday night.
The Lancers' reserves outscored the Falcons' bench, 22-5, and supplied some key defense during certain moments. While the bench scoring was spread out with frosh guard Desiree Loving scoring nine points (three assists and four rebounds) to lead the bunch, it was enough to allow for an off scoring night by the PCC starting five.
Only starting sophomore guard Stella Ghazarian scored in double digits with 11 points as the team's main unit combined for just 32 points. However, the starters did their part in other ways to lead the win. First-year center Kaitlyn Parks grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds along with eight points in the paint while redshirt sophomore point guard Shay Jackson dished out 10 assists and grabbed five rebounds (with four points). Sophomore guard Sabrina Martinez continues to be one of the state's best defensive players as she totaled five steals to go with seven points.
Ghazarian's point total was significant in that four of her field goals were 2-point shots as she has found ways to score other than her usual 3-point shooting.
PCC improved to 15-5 overall and 5-3 in SCC play. Cerritos dropped to 11-8 and also 5-3 in the conference. The Lancers have won six of their last seven games, including three straight.
From the bench, frosh forward Brandi DuBose added four points and four rebounds, first-year forward Sarah Jackson had four points, three rebounds and two steals, and letterman guard Kahlia Theus tallied five points.
In the first half, Cerritos led 15-10 before the Lancers went on a 17-3 run to grab a commanding 27-18 halftime lead. PCC would go ahead by 10, but the Falcons stormed back as they made six second-half 3-point bombs, including three by Angela Pena to cut the lead to 50-49 with 48 seconds left. The Lancers, though, kept their composure and Shay Jackson and Martinez sank two free throws each down the stretch to clinch the triumph.
Pena led the Falcons with 20 points, 4-for-4 on threes, and Diamond Roberts added 13 points and nine rebounds. Cerritos hurt itself with terrible free throw shooting, making only 4 of 14 shots from the line.
"It's a grudge match often when we play Cerritos," said PCC head coach Joe Peron, whose team's rivalry with the Falcons has seemingly trumped the one with Mt. San Antonio in recent seasons.
"The games are tough, and emotions are high. This was hard-fought by both sides and fortunately we played solid defense. Getting some production from the bench was very important."
The Lancers won't play again until Wednesday, Jan. 30 when they host powerful No. 7-ranked Long Beach City College in a 5 p.m. tip-off.
[Photo--Reserve forward Brandi DuBose goes up for a shot during the Lancers' win over Cerritos Wednesday night at PCC, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]