The state No. 12-ranked Pasadena City College women's basketball team knew what it was up against in facing No. 3 East Los Angeles Wednesday--tenacious defense. The Lancers took nearly seven minutes to score their first point in a sign of things to come as ELAC left Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium with a 58-45 victory. It was a season low in points for PCC.
That was the identical score from the last time the teams met when the Huskies (21-2, 4-1 in South Coast Conference North Division play) defeated PCC in the third round of the Southern California Regional Playoffs at East LA.
Pasadena (18-6, 2-3) overcame its slow start and took a 9-7 lead after one quarter on a jumper by Jelissa Puckett. ELAC went on a 12-2 run and eventually led 25-20 by halftime. With less than four minutes left in the third quarter, a pair of Kailyn Gideon free throws allowed the Lancers to cut the deficit to just three, 35-32.
ELAC responded again with a 10-3 spurt as Tiffani Martinez hit a quarter-buzzer beating, 3-pointer from the corner that upped the Huskies lead to 45-35. While PCC's scoring woes continued into the final quarter, East LA extended the advantage on a 12-2 run and coasted the final few minutes. It was a season low in points for PCC.
With Pasadena playing without freshman center Alisa Shinn (24 points, 18 rebounds last game), out with an undisclosed injury, Gideon tried to keep the Lancers close. Gideon, a 6-3 sophomore herself and the state leader in blocked shots, scored a game-high 14 points, matched the team's season best mark in rebounds at 18, and frustrated ELAC shooters with seven blocks.
Puckett added 10 points and seven boards while Jolene Robinson had eight points and 10 rebounds. It was a rough evening for top-scoring forward Ilianna Blanc, who was limited to one point and fouled out.
The Lancers shot just 25.8 percent from the field (17-for-66), but it was actually slightly better than the 18-for-72 (25.0 percent) by their opponents. The Huskies made 19 of 31 free throws compared to the Lancers sinking 8-for-14. The other big difference was ELAC's bench contributed 28 points, 12 by Monica Garcia, while PCC mustered just seven points combined from four reserves.
Martinez led ELAC with 13 points, making three 3-point baskets. Reserve guard Gloria Ortiz totaled nine points and 10 rebounds.
PCC travels to face state No. 14 LA Trade Tech on Friday, Feb. 3 in a 7 p.m. tip-off following the men's game.