As the first division game is approaching for the women’s basketball team, the Lancers plan to stay in good spirits despite their uneven play so far. They are currently 11-9 overall and sit tied for No. 14 in the South Region rankings.
The Lancers went 1-1 in their last two South Coast Conference games, defeating El Camino 65-64 in a nail-biter on Wednesday and losing to Cerritos 67-40 at home on Friday.
PCC, as a team, had trouble making their shots on Friday, shooting 21 percent from the field on 55 shots.
Starting point guard Judith Espinoza played limited minutes against Cerritos due to an injury that occurred toward the end of the third quarter at El Camino. She finished the game against Cerritos with 5 points and 5 rebounds in 15 minutes of play in comparison to her usual 30-minute games.
“I subbed her in and out for thirty seconds at the El Camino game just to make sure my offense ran,” head coach Joe Peron said.
Peron said she wasn’t going to play against Cerritos but at halftime told him she wanted to play.
Red-shirt freshman Ella Stepanian finished the game with 4 points, going 0-10 from the field.
In the win at El Camino College, the Lancers had a four-point lead with less than a minute to go and had to battle harder than their opponent to pull off the win.
With nine seconds left, the Lancers turned the ball over and an El Camino player had a wide open three-pointer to win the game.
“I think we had it and we just let them shoot the threes they’ve been knocking down the whole game so I feel like we just had a mental lapse in the end of the game on defense, which hurt us a lot,” Espinoza said. “We knew to not let them penetrate or kick out and hit the three and the very last second … [a shooter] was wide open for three.”
Espinoza finished the game with 20 points and 5 assists despite getting injured, and freshman Kailyn Gideon had 8 points and 16 rebounds.
Red-shirt freshman Illianna Blanc hasn’t been producing as much as Peron expected but he says she has been giving her best. She is still dealing with a knee injury.
“Physically the more I play the more I get comfortable with it but it is definitely difficult mentally,” Blanc said. “It’s hard to always be positive or not think about with everything I do on the court.”
Looking forward at division play, the Lancers will face two top-10 teams in the South Region rankings with Mt. SAC at No. 2 and East LA at No. 6. In order to get a spot in the postseason, Pasadena will need to be ready for battle.
“Nothing is given but we see it as zero in the wins column right now and zero in the loss column, and it’s time to start a winning divisional season,” Peron said.
The Lancers travel to Los Angeles Trade Technical College on Wednesday for a 5 p.m. game then face El Camino College-Compton Center at home on Friday at 5 p.m.