One of the Pasadena City College men's basketball teams strengths has been the ability to outplay opponents in in the post with a swarming defense and hard-nosed rebounding. On Wednesday, Chaffey's 6-foot-8 center Manu Oulai proved a little too much for the Lancers, scoring 24 points and grabbing 14 rebounds to send the Lancers to a 78-69 loss at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.
Chaffey (16-7, 3-2), the state No. 20-ranked team, outrebounded PCC, 44-30, overall. Pasadena (14-9) dropped to 2-3 in South Coast Conference North Division play.
In a tight first half that featured 10 lead changes, Chaffey took a small 37-34 advantage into halftime. Lancers guard Patric Panoosi drained a 3-pointer that tied it at 37-37 but the Panthers' Anthony Garcia matched him with a trey that started a 16-4 run to separate from PCC. Pasadena cut a 14-point lead to six (71-65) on an 8-0 spurt capped by a layup by Chris Odionu. But Chaffey's sharp free throw shooting would seal its win, making 7-for-8 from the line in the last two minutes.
Overall, Chaffey made 79 percent on free throws (22-for-28). The Lancers were 10-for-14 (71.4 percent).
Letterman guard Josiah Woods came off the bench to score a team-high 16 points with seven rebounds and four assists. Scoring 10 points each were starters Giovonni Jackson (and seven assists), Odionu (eight rebounds and five blocks), and Jordan Simpson. Panoosi had three 3-pointers for nine points. The Lancers made 14 blocks overall as they lead the state in that statistical category at 7 per game.
On Friday, Feb. 8, the Lancers host Rio Hondo College on "Coaches v. Cancer Night" at PCC. All proceeds for the 5 p.m. tip-off will be donated to the American Cancer Society.