Women's Hoops In the Thick of SCC North Race

Point guard Samaiyah Abdullah has been a big factor on both ends of the floor for the Lancers, photo by Richard Quinton.
Point guard Samaiyah Abdullah has been a big factor on both ends of the floor for the Lancers, photo by Richard Quinton.

Just a few weeks ago, the unranked Pasadena City College women's basketball team faced a real possibility of missing the postseason. Now, the resurgent Lancers closed the first round of South Coast Conference North Division play Wednesday knowing they're suddenly in the hunt for the conference title in a battle with three state-ranked teams. The Lancers remained in a tie for third place in the competitive conference with Mt. San Antonio on a 73-59 win over Rio Hondo at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.

PCC (15-10 overall) won its third straight division game and stand 3-2, just a game behind both No. 11 East Los Angeles and No. 8 LA Trade Tech for the conference lead with five games remaining. A week after the Lancers stunned 16-time defending conference champ and No. 14 Mt. SAC by 37 points, it was the Mounties actually helping out Pasadena by knocking off LA Trade Tech on Wednesday, 78-70.

The victory also was No. 499 in the career of PCC head coach Joe Peron, who is in his 22nd season at the college. On Friday, Feb. 2, the Lancers will attempt to give Peron his milestone 500th victory against rival East Los Angeles at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium. Tip-off is 5 p.m.

Against Rio Hondo, Jade Lin hit a 3-point bomb to cap a 12-4 PCC run and end the first quarter at 21-11. The Lancers extended that lead to 35-20 by halftime. The Roadrunners never threatened, only cutting the lead to as low as 10 late in the third period. 

Alisa Shinn scored 17 of her team-high 27 points in the first half. The 6-3 sophomore forward added six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Lin made a trio of treys for 12 points (and six boards), center Mercy Odima had a double-double on 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Elise Ortega added 10 points with three assists and three steals. Point guard Samaiyah Abdullah had a tremendous all-around effort on eight points, eight assists, and seven rebounds. Off the bench, Jacquelyn Luna scored three points and three rebounds and Tatianna Shoals picked up a basket and two boards. 

For Rio Hondo (4-19, 0-5), Maggie Lamas poured in a game-high 31 points, outscoring the rest of her team combined. Emily Mercedes chipped in 16 points and 10 rebounds. 

Shinn climbed into the top 10 on the Lancers All-Time Scoring List at No. 10 with 829 career points. She passed another post player Ariel Towns (824, 2000-2003) who is now at No. 11 on the elite scorers marks. Shinn, averaging an entire SCC best 19.8 points a game, is projected to pass the 900 points mark and is likely to reach as high as No. 7.