News: Men's Cagers Step Up, Move Back Into 1st Place Tie With ELAC
The Pasadena City College men's basketball team turned the South Coast Conference North Division race back into its favor in a stunning, come-from-behind 73-72 victory over host East Los Angeles College Friday night. The Lancers snapped a 3-game losing streak and now are tied with the Huskies for first place in the division with 6-4 SCC records.
PCC (18-8 overall) trailed by 12 points early in the second half, 47-35, but chipped away at the deficit before taking a 60-59 lead on a Taj Spencer jumper with 8:15 left. ELAC regained the lead at 68-66 on a layup by Davian Wilson only to see the Lancers answer with a 3-point bomb by Adrian Miles.
Miles would give Pasadena its final lead at 71-70 on a pair of free throws with 3:19 left. The Huskies missed three short range shots in the final seconds as PCC sweated it out until the final buzzer sounded.
The Lancers return to the win column not surprisingly coincided with the high energy offensive play of sophomore forward Spencer and letterman guard Jeffrey Dockett. Spencer busted out of his scoring slump with 15 of his game-high 21 points in the second half. Dockett poured in 20 points. Another key player was frosh guard Brandon Joseph, who scored 11 points, making 5-for-6 from the field, and adding three steals.
One 3-point shot ultimately lifted the Lancers out of their doldrums and it was turned in by the most unlikely of shooters--reserve post player Rashad Smith. The sophomore lefty-shooting forward drilled a trey for his only points with 12 minutes left in the game. It cut a 57-50 ELAC lead to four at that point, but the basket proved to ignite the Lancers second-half charge. Smith had only taken three other shots (all misses) beyond the circle in two seasons at PCC prior to the bomb.
Also for PCC, frosh center Faruk Oyalade produced six points and nine rebounds while Miles was instrumental in the final 10 minutes ending with eight points. For ELAC (17-8), Je'Ron Primus scored 16 points and Wilson added 15. The Huskies blocked 10 Pasadena shots. The Lancers shot 50 percent on attempts that didn't get knocked down by ELAC and made just 11 turnovers.
The Lancers next host Mt. San Antonio on Friday, Feb. 14 in their final home game of the regular season. Tip-off at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium is 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12 is the team's bye date in conference.
COACH ONE WIN AWAY FROM 200
PCC head coach Michael Swanegan is one win away from a milestone 200th career victory in his collegiate career. Swanegan won 117 games at previous employer, Mt. SAC, and now 82 coaching victories at PCC. He is in his seventh season in charge of the Lancers and 15th year as a community college head coach.
Prior to moving to the college ranks, Swanegan was a successful high school head coach for 10 seasons at three schools, most prominently at Duarte High. His combined preps/college victory total is up to 360 triumphs in 25 coaching seasons.
[Photo--Rashad Smith in action earlier this week against LA Harbor. Smith hit the first 3-pointer of his college career Friday in the team's 73-72 win over East LA.]
Release Date: 02/07/2014