News: Slow Start, Fast Finish As Women's Hoops Wins SCC Opener
For the first 10-plus minutes of its South Coast Conference North Division opener Wednesday, the Pasadena City College women's basketball team seemed stuck in a fog while opponent East Los Angeles jumped out to a 28-14 lead.
Sophomore point guard Desiree Loving spurred her teammates, scoring 18 of her game-high 23 points in the second half as the state No. 3-ranked Lancers recovered from the first-half malaise with a 79-63 victory at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.
PCC improved to 12-4 overall while the Huskies fell to 10-6.
Loving made her last four shots in a row from the floor, mostly on medium-range jumpers and was superb at the free throw line, making 13 of 15 attempts. She added five rebounds and five assists.
A fast-break basket by Joelle Tucker gave PCC a 50-49 lead with 12:10 remaining. It was the first time the Lancers were ahead since the opening minute. A Loving jumper capped a 19-4 run that made it 59-51 with just under nine minutes left as the Lancers would keep the advantage the rest of the way.
ELAC, unranked in the state, but No. 11 in the SoCal poll, put the Lancers in rally mode thanks to red-hot shooting from 3-point range. The Huskies made 9-for-17 overall from the bomber zone as reserve guard Angelica Trinidad sank four straight treys at one point during the first half. Trinidad led ELAC with 17 points and made five 3-pointers.
PCC's starting unit aided Loving's performance with sophomore guard Skai Thompson adding 14 points and second-year center Kaitlyn Parks delivering 13 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Sophomore forward Tyler Crockom chipped in 11 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Off the bench, sophomore forward Averie-Alice Guzman was efficient on both ends of the floor and finished with six points, five rebounds, and two assists. Tucker, a frosh guard, was slick on defense and picked up six points, three steals and three rebounds. Sophomore forward Brandi DuBose added an inside presence with eight rebounds plus two blocks (scored one point).
The Lancers shot extremely well in the second half, making 56.7 percent of their field goals (17-for-30) and 82.4 percent on free throws (14-for-17).
For the first time since the South Coast Conference switched to doubleheaders during the late 1990s, the women's game was the second half of the twinbill after the PCC men's contest. The Lancers women had preceded every home doubleheader with the men's team going back to the opening of the HP Gym in 1999-2000.
PCC visits Los Angeles Southwest College on Friday, Jan. 10 in a 7 p.m. conference tip-off.
[Photo--Lancer Desiree Loving goes up for a shot during PCC's conference-opening victory over East LA Wednesday night, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]
Release Date: 01/08/2014