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News: Spencer's Monster First Half Propels Men's Basketball

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For the first 10 minutes Friday night, the Pasadena City College men's basketball team traded the lead 12 times against host Los Angeles Southwest. The Lancers were sweating things out and then sophomore forward Taj Spencer went on a remarkable spree.

Spencer hit a series of baseline jumpers, reverse layups, offensive rebound follow-ins in making eight baskets plus delivered some nifty passing that led to four other PCC baskets over the final 10 minutes of the first half. By the first half buzzer, he had scored 22 points, grabbed seven rebounds and made four assists as the Lancers would lead comfortably by the break, 45-31.

Spencer, a 6-foot-7 transfer, finished with 28 points and received a well-earned rest the final 10 minutes of the game as PCC throttled LA Southwest, 95-63. Spencer's first-half numbers helped the Lancers go on an 18-3 run at one point to jump out ahead 35-22. Overall, he made 13 of 18 shots from the floor and totaled other team highs with 12 rebounds and six assists.

The state No. 19-ranked Lancers improved to 13-5 overall while evening their South Coast Conference record at 1-1. The hapless Cougars fell to 3-13 and 0-2.

Three different Lancers reached a double-double including reserve sophomore forward Rashad Smith with 10 points and 11 rebounds and starting freshman center Faruk Oyalade, who tallied 10 points and 10 boards.

Both sophomore starting guard Brandon Joseph and second-year forward Bryce Clifton scored all eight of their respective points in the first half. The pair complemented the work of Spencer over the opening 20 minutes. PCC head coach Michael Swanegan was able to get playing time for the far end of the bench as 12 of his 13 players scored points.

Winners of seven of the last eight games, the Lancers travel to face defending state champion Mt. San Antonio College on Wednesday, Jan. 15 in Walnut. Mt. SAC is the former home of Swanegan (first eight head coaching seasons), assistant coach Criss Freeman, the SCC Coach of the Year there two seasons ago, assistant Jesse Ellis, and Spencer, who played his freshman season in 2011-12 at the rival campus. Tip-off is 5 p.m.

[Photo--Taj Spencer is surrounded by LA Southwest players but scores two of his 28 points Friday during the Lancers' SCC victory, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]

Release Date: 01/11/2014
Contact: Robert Lewis , Sports Information
Phone: (626) 585-7018
Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu