After averaging 69 points a game over its first 17 contests, the Pasadena City College men's basketball team has had trouble making shots from the field or the free throw line in two South Coast Conference North Division losses last week.
The Lancers (8-11 overall) scored consecutive season lows in an 82-52 defeat at state No. 6-ranked East Los Angeles College on Jan. 17 and then a disturbing 62-51 loss at sub-.500 LA Trade Tech on Friday night. PCC shot 36.2 percent from the field and an awful 3-for-13 (23 percent) from the line in that loss. The Lancers also handed over 25 turnovers.
PCC led 15-6 early on and went into halftime up 26-24. In the second half, LA Trade Tech went on an 11-3 run capped on an Enrique Arana layup for a 43-35 advantage with 11 minutes remaining. Reserve forward Jordan Jones, the only Lancer to reach double figures with 10 points, drilled a 3 that cut it to 49-45. But that basket with 5:12 left was as close as PCC made it.
While the Lancers shot poorly at the charity stripe, Trade Tech had a wide advantage, making 20 of 28 attempts (71.4 percent). Trade Tech (6-10 overall) strangely is now a perfect 4-0 on their home fioor and 2-10 elsewhere. Lawrence Carter led the Beavers with 15 points, including 6-for-8 on free throws. For PCC, Jordan Simpson scored four points, but grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked three shots. Kyle Mitchell added eight points and seven boards. The Lancers starting five combined for just 24 points, nine by Ross Lee, who netted three 3-pointers.
In the team's conference opener at ELAC, the Huskies led 18-9, but PCC had a surge to cut it to 24-22 on a Mitchell trey with 5:40 left in the first half. It got ugly from there as the ELAC gigantic group of 7-footer Jacob Tryon, 6-10 Colin Bell, 6-8 Solomon Hunt and athletic 6-7 forward Roderick Williams towered over the Lancers. The Huskies took a 40-29 halftime lead and completed a 16-0 run that started late in the first half and ended on a Williams' banker-and-1 that built the difference to 50-29.
Again, the Lancers starting five had no double digit scorers (although Ivan Egbunike played well on nine points, 4-for-4 on field goals, with five rebounds). Coming off the bench, Mitchell was the meat of the PCC offense, scoring 20 points (9-for-12 at the line). Williams led ELAC with 20 points and Tryon added 16 points, nine rebounds and blocked seven Lancers shots.
PCC is in the midst of a season-worst, 4-game losing streak and has gone three straight games where not a single starter reached 10 points. Lee was the last starter to score in double digits when he had 20 in a 74-65 loss to Allan Hancock on Jan. 7 at the Cuesta Tournament.
The Lancers host Mt. San Antonio College on Wednesday, Jan. 24 in a 7 p.m. tip-off (following the women's game) at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium. PCC defeated Mt. SAC at its host Skip Robinson Classic on Nov. 18 by a 67-56 count.