News: Men's Basketball Reaches 20 Wins, Take 2nd In SCC North
The SoCal No. 15-rated Pasadena City College men's basketball team made a strong statement to make the 2014 regional playoff field by closing the South Coast Conference and regular season with 20 wins. The Lancers officially placed second in the SCC North Division (8-5) with Friday's hard-fought 80-74 victory at El Camino College-Compton Center.
PCC (20-9 overall) reached the 20-win mark for the first time since 2008-2009, a season in which the team was denied a postseason berth due to placing third in conference. The Lancers have not made the playoffs since 2004.
Against Compton, the Lancers led 40-37 at halftime, but the Tartars grabbed a 63-59 lead with 8:30 remaining. PCC stormed back on an 8-0 run capped by back-to-back steals and baskets by Adrian Miles and Jeffrey Dockett.
The Tartars didn't quit and cut it to 71-69 with 3:50 left. Lancers' frosh center Faruk Oyalade hit consecutive inside buckets to increase the advantage to six, 75-69, with under three minutes to go. Pasadena held the lead at 76-74 and then came up with the big defensive play when Taj Spencer blocked a 3-point attempt by Justin Bedford with 1:04 left.
The victory was a team effort that was paced by the sophomore point guard Dockett, who scored a game-high 24 points (12-for-17 from the field, no free throws) and made four steals. Letterman forward Rashad Smith soared to a double-double on 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Oyalade was a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor as part of his 13 points (plus six rebounds) while the freshman guard Miles added 12 points (and three steals).
Spencer again got off to a slow start and ended up scoring all 10 of his points in the second half. The sophomore forward grabbed nine rebounds and contributed five assists. Sophomore forward Bryce Clifton, who was given a rare start, was effective in hitting sixes across on points, rebounds and a team-high in assists. He also blocked two shots.
Compton (9-18, 5-8) had strong finales from Ray Foote, who scored 26 points and was 10-for-10 from the free throw line, and Luis Engleton with 20 points, including 9-for-12 from the field.
"We perservered and that had a lot to do with Rashad and Bryce stepping up on both sides of the floor," said PCC head coach Michael Swanegan. "It's been a great week for Rashad who has worked hard to get into the starting lineup. Faruk fouled out but not before he made some huge baskets in the latter part of the game. Jeffrey got his confidence back as a shooter and pushed the tempo for us. Now we get to see what the playoff seedings has in store for us."
[Photo--Taj Spencer (left) and Rashad Smith (right) jump for joy after PCC clinched a 20-win season at El Camino College Compton Center Friday night, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]
Release Date: 02/22/2014