Bridget Sanchez / Courier Freshman Jeffrey Dockett fights through opposing players while going for a basket. Pasadena City College was defeated 68-64 at the Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium on Jan. 23.
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Bridget Sanchez / Courier
Freshman Jeffrey Dockett fights through opposing players while going for a basket. Pasadena City College was defeated 68-64 at the Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium on Jan. 23.

The Lancers men’s basketball team had a significant comeback but was unable to return from a second-half 21-point deficit, losing to the East Los Angeles College Huskies 68-64 on Jan. 23.

The Lancers loss to ELAC, the eighth-ranked team in the state, gives them an overall record of 6-12 and a conference record of 2-3.

“The second half was better than the first,” Head Coach Mike Swanegan Sr. said. “We came out cold and dug ourselves into a hole early.”

PCC was losing 15-3 after only five minutes of play and was down 55-34 after five minutes had elapsed in the second half. After shortening ELAC’s lead to only two points, a few untimely PCC fouls and defensive slips allowed the Huskies to escape with a victory.

The Lancers played without freshman guard Samuel Stirgus, who is out with a knee injury. Sophomore guard Evan Brooks played but was hampered by his injury.

Lancer trainer Alfonso Flores remains positive for the status of the team.

“We’ve had a few injuries but nothing too serious,” Flores said. “This is the healthiest team we have had in years, and it’s not from a lack of effort that they have stayed healthy.”

PCC’s comeback was fueled by spurts of defensive excellence, crucial second half three point and free throw shooting, and the leadership of freshman point guard Jeffery Dockett. Dockett played all but two minutes in the narrow loss and accounted for 16 points, seven assists, four rebounds, and four steals.

Also contributing to the Lancers’ effort was sophomore center Lorelle Martin’s ten points, eight rebounds and two blocks along with freshman guard Gary Matthews’ 11 points and sophomore forward Alec Tatum’s nine defensive rebounds. Sophomore guard Mike Swanegan Jr., who has gone scoreless at home previously this season, went scoreless in the first half but responded in the second half with four three-point shots and two free throws.

PCC was also the victim of some questionable, or missed, calls from the referees. Dockett shot a crunch-time three pointer and was knocked down while shooting but no foul was called.

“I’m not going to blame the referees but [Dockett] got knocked down,” Swanegan Sr. said. “There were just a few calls that didn’t go our way.”

Dockett would not fault the referees for the Lancers play.

“The referees missed a lot of calls but that isn’t why we lost,” Dockett said. “We dug ourselves into a hole and tried to come back but it wasn’t enough.”

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