After facing a double-digit deficit Jan.9, the Lancer menâ€™s basketball team stormed back to win their home and conference opener, defeating the L.A. Southwest Cougars 83-79.
The Lancers improve to 5-9 on the season and 1-0 in conference play. The Lancers lost the lead early in the first half and finally took the lead back with 51 seconds left in the game. PCC had spurts of lockdown defense but had moments of total lapses on the defensive end.
â€œThis was our home opener so we had a little stage fright. We came out pretty nervous,â€ Head Coach Mike Swanegan said after the game. â€œWe settled down in the second half and picked up our intensity as the game went on.â€
With Lancers leading scorer this season Mike Swanegan Jr., (the coachâ€™s son) going 0-7 from the field and playing only 21 minutes, the scoring burden fell to freshman point guard Jeffrey Dockett and sophomore guard Evan Moore, who both scored their season high in points.
Dockett went 9-13 from the field, 3-3 from three-point range, 8-10 on free throws, six assists, and added two steals. Brooks went 7-14 overall, 5-8 from three, a perfect 7-7 from the free throw line, and was one rebound away from a double-double.
â€œThey just wanted me to find the open man and create,â€ Dockett said, who also contributed six assists. â€œIâ€™ve had the green light from coach to score and play my game since the last tournament.â€
Also contributing to the winning effort was sophomore guard Steven Shares, who added great defensive intensity, accounting for two steals, and sophomore forward Alec Tatum who added seven points and 10 crucial defensive rebounds.
The final scoring run started with back-to-back threes by Brooks, followed by a pair of clutch Dockett free throws to take the lead. Fouling Dockett proved to be costly and resulted in LA Southwestâ€™s top two players fouling out and having four fouls.
â€œIâ€™m little and fast so I guess they felt the need to foul me,â€ the 5â€™9â€² tall Dockett said.
The shot clock had been turned off and there were 23 seconds left in the game as the Lancers held onto a three-point lead. The Lancers came out of their final timeout with one singular message from Coach Swanegan and his vocally active assistants.
â€œDonâ€™t foul,â€ Brooks said. â€œWhatever you do, donâ€™t foul.â€
The Lancers played clinically efficient defense in the final moments, forced a missed basket from the Cougars, grabbed the rebound, and held the ball until the clock ran out.
â€œOur gameplan was to open the floor up and play in transition, play physically and disciplined,â€ Coach Swanegan said. â€œI thought for the last ten minutes of the game our intensity level was great.â€
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