Men's Hoops Wins Consolation Title At Skip Robinson Classic

Lancer Todd Kitagawa had two strong performances as part of PCC's consolation title at the Skip Robinson Classic this weekend, photo by Richard Quinton.
Lancer Todd Kitagawa had two strong performances as part of PCC's consolation title at the Skip Robinson Classic this weekend, photo by Richard Quinton.

Reserve guard Kyle Mitchell poured in four 3-pointers in the first half as part of his 22 points as the Pasadena City College men's basketball team captured the consolation title of its Skip Robinson Classic, defeating Mt. San Antonio, 67-56, Saturday at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.

The Lancers won their second game in as many days and moved to the .500 mark at 3-3. It was the first time PCC beat its South Coast Conference North Division rival Mt. SAC at home in eight years (snapped 8-game losing streak at the HP Gym) and also ended a 7-game losing streak v. the Mounties that dated back to 2014. 

PCC led 39-23 at halftime and twice built the lead to 20 points, including at 56-36 on an offensive rebound and jumper by Joe Hampton with 9:11 left. Mt. SAC (2-4) kept rallying but the Lancers' defense held tight. The Mounties only cut the advantage to as low as seven points in the final minute. 

Mitchell was a perfect 4-for-4 on long-range baskets. The sophomore transfer added seven rebounds and three steals. Hampton tallied 13 points while frosh guard Jordan Jones had 10 points and made a team-high four steals. All-Tournament selection Anthony Evans added six points, two steals and two blocks. PCC's defense forced Mt. SAC into 27 turnovers (12 on steals) and blocked six shots overall, three by first-year forward Jordan Simpson.

Coach Michael Swanegan's Lancers advanced to the tourney's third day with an 83-69 win over MiraCosta on Friday night. Another sophomore guard came off the bench to deliver the goods in Todd Kitagawa. The sharp shooter hit a trio of treys and made three straight free throws after being fouled behind the circle as he scored 12 points during a 14-4 run that gave PCC a 24-13 lead. Mitchell made a jumper to up that lead to 20, 48-28, going into halftime. MiraCosta (3-4) never threatened the large lead in the second half.

Overall in that victory, Hampton went 8-for-10 from the free throw line as part of his team-high 18 points (and six rebounds) and Kitagawa finished with 15 points. Evans, the team's starting freshman point guard, chipped in 12 points, six rebounds and four assists. Reserve freshman guard Justin Brown added 11 points. Letterman guard Will Johnson didn't score but fed six assists off the bench. 

"We have a deep bench and I don't have to hesitate like in some recent seasons to bring in a player who can produce for us," Swanegan said. "We picked up two home victories in a our home tournament, so I'm pleased with our season start. Our defense has become a strength for us in the early going. We need to keep building off the momentum of these two wins."

Santiago Canyon, a team that sent PCC's into the consolation bracket, captured the SRC title by defeating El Camino, 108-97, in the championship final. Tourney MVP Antoine Jenkins scored 22 points, but the Hawks had a big game off the bench by Kamron Fleming, who scored 30 points. ECC's Troy Biglow, who scored 17 in the final, made All-SRC as well. In the third place final, LA Southwest won a low-scoring affair over LA Valley, 58-54. LASW's Deric Daniels and LAVC's Christian Hodge joined Jenkins, Biglow and PCC's Evans on the All-Tournament team.

On Tuesday, Nov. 21, the Lancers continue a home stand with a non-conference game against visiting Glendale College. Tip-off is 5 p.m.