The Pasadena City College women's basketball team didn't just end an 8-year, 16-game losing streak against two-time defending state champion Mt. San Antonio Wednesday night. It was more like a rout for the ages. The unranked Lancers completely dominated the current state No. 9-ranked Mounties, running away with a lopsided, 88-51 victory at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.
PCC (13-10) won its first South Coast Conference North Division game to improve to 1-2 while Mt. SAC finds itself in jeopardy of seeing its amazing 16-year streak of conference titles end. The Mounties dropped to 17-6 overall, also at 1-2 as both #10-ranked East Los Angeles and #12 LA Trade Tech are 3-0 to lead the state's toughest conference.
It took a historic effort for the Lancers as their talented post duo of 6-foot-3 forward Alisa Shinn and 6-2 center Mercy Odima accomplished a first in PCC women's basketball as both players posted 20-20, double-doubles in the same game. The sophomore Shinn matched her career high by scoring 34 points and grabbed 21 rebounds while Odima added 23 points and 21 rebounds. For Shinn, it was the fourth time this season she scored 30 or more points and third time she pulled down 20 or more boards while the freshman Odima has reached 20 rebounds or more five times, twice in the last three games.
PCC actually trailed 7-0 and then 25-22, after an up-tempo, first quarter for both teams. Mt. SAC's Deja Siaki buried her fourth 3-pointer of the game for a 28-25 advantage. Then the Lancers went to work. A basket-and-1 by Odima was followed by back-to-back jumpers from point guard Samaiyah Abdullah for a 32-28 PCC lead with 5:51 left in the second period. A bomb off the glass from 25 feet by Jade Lin and an Abdullah layup capped a 16-4 run. Abdullah, who scored eight of her 14 points in the quarter, nailed a jumper at the buzzer for a PCC 45-38 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, PCC scored the first 10 points, including three short-range baskets by Odima. The rout was on. In the second half, the Lancers outscored Mt. SAC, 43-13. In the third quarter alone, the Lancers outscored the Mounties, 24-5, with Elise Ortega netting yet another buzzer beater on a 3-pointer that all but put the game away at 69-43.
The Lancers controlled the inside, outrebounding Mt. SAC, 60-35, and scored 23 of their points on put-back attempts. While PCC shot 52.1 percent from the floor, Mt. SAC converted a woeful 23.9. In the final three quarters, PCC's defense held Mt. SAC to just 27 points as the Mounties went ice cold (9-for-56, 16.1 percent). Odima and Shinn cleaned up the myriad of misses by combining for 30 defensive rebounds (16 for Shinn).
"We were pretty much in a must-win situation because there are no guarantees for a playoff spot," said PCC head coach Joe Peron, who had last watched his team beat Mt. SAC on Feb. 17, 2010 in a 64-62 conference home victory. "We have the ability to create mismatches in the paint and both Alisa and Mercy did a great job on both ends of the floor. We also played a complete, 40 minutes. The whole team wanted it."
The loss for Mt. SAC is the worst margin of defeat for a Mounties team under their head coach Brian Crichlow, who is in his seventh season, and is also the worst defeat suffered by the Walnut program this century. Peron was reminded of the 2004 state championship game when Mt. SAC beat PCC, 82-54. "Kind of crazy how the scores were similar, but this time we were on the winning side."
Odima has climbed to a tie for fourth in state rebounding at 13.4 per game while Shinn is No. 7 at 13 a contest. Shinn is tied for 15th in the state and leads all SCC players (either division) in scoring at 19.6 points per game.
The Lancers next travel to face Chaffey College on Friday, Jan. 26 in a 5 p.m. conference tip-off.