Close Losses Mount For Men's Cagers

Close Losses Mount For Men's Cagers

The Pasadena City College men's basketball team can't seem to find breaks late in games and despite spirited play the end results have been not been rewarded in the win column. The Lancers were eliminated in two close games at the Chaffey Challenge Tournament Jan. 6-7 that leaves their overall record at 5-12. 

It was a true heartbreaking loss in the Friday opener as PCC lost in overtime against Palomar, 67-66. Sophomore guard Dejon Williams was a virtual one-man show as he scored a team season-high 36 points, hit 6-for-8 from 3-point range, and grabbed 13 rebounds. Williams engineered a Lancers rally from 14 points down and his finger roll basket against a few defenders with 1:02 left in regulation sent the game to OT at 61-61.

With 0.7 of a second left in the extra session, Williams hit a free throw but his ensuing attempt rattled in and out of the rim as Palomar squeaked out the 1-point victory. 

On Saturday, Williams and teammate Todd Barnes tried to give the Lancers an upset against consolation semi opponent and state No. 17-ranked Citrus. The pair combined for 30 first-half points as PCC took a 45-38 halftime lead. Pasadena built as large as a 10-point lead early in the contest. In the second half,  the Lancers maintained the advantage for much of the 20 minutes and led 74-71 with 3:46 left.

But the Owls (14-4) are 10 games over .500 for a reason and battled back with Khalil Williams sinking a 3-point bomb that gave Citrus the lead for good at 76-74 with 2:52 remaining. Barnes finished with 24 points (8-for-10 from the free throw line) while Williams added 23 points (7-for-8 on free throws). Sophomore transfer guard Eris Winder picked up 13 points, nine rebounds and five assists off the bench. Skyler Williams added eight points and five boards and Will Johnson seven points and five assists.

PCC played the tourney without state top 5 scorer McKay Anderson, who is nursing an injury, but Williams has put on his own scoring bonanza in the last few contests. Williams, an All-South Coast Conference selection two seasons ago, broke his own season high in three straight games and has totaled 115 points in the last four, an average of a hair under 29 points. He reached the 30-point mark in consecutive games to tie Anderson's mark of two 30-point plus contests. Barnes also has scored 30 in a game this season. 

On Wednesday, Jan. 18, PCC begins its 10-game, SCC North Division schedule against LA Trade Tech. Tip-off is 5 p.m. at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium and it will be the first time that Coach Michael Swanegan's Lancers will play on their home floor in 2016-17.