The Lady Lancers fell to South Region’s No. 2 Mt. San Antonio College last Wednesday 96-71 but successfully defeated Los Angeles Trade Technical College last Friday 58-51 to even the matchup record and move to third in the SCC-North standings.
PCC is 15-12 overall and 3-3 in conference play with a forfeit win against LA Southwest College on January 29 due to academically ineligible players and an inability to field a full team with only two players available to play.
After Wednesday’s game against Mt. SAC, sophomore point guard Judith Espinoza, who finished the game with 24 points and four assists, reached 800 career points and reached a milestone many, including head coach Joe Peron, couldn’t reach.
Espinoza remained humble and just felt honored to be in the 800-point club.
“It feels amazing to be able to do something others have done and make history to be remembered,” Espinoza said. “I’m grateful for it, for Coach P and my teammates. Obviously I couldn’t do it without them and I’m just grateful to be given the opportunity to do it.”
Peron compared the milestone to his own and jokingly said, “I’m happy for her. She passed me up when I played here. I’m only in the 500-point club. I hope she can make the thousand-point club.”
On Friday, PCC was struggling on the defensive boards and allowed the Beavers to get 21 of their 39 total rebounds on the offensive side, resulting in second chance points.
The team was missing their paint-protector in freshman Kailyn Gideon, who has missed the last four games with a sprained ankle, and lengthy guard-forward Jolene Robinson, who was only out on Friday.
Peron said he needed more from his team in the second half and he was glad they finished the game strong.
“We talked about my guards rebounding and my guards are supposed to have five rebounds each this game, so the second half, they all started crashing the boards a lot better than the first half,” Peron said. “Trade Tech still got second chances but we were better in the second half than the first half.”
The Beavers made six three-pointers out of 17 attempts in the game with the majority coming in the first half.
Red-shirt freshman Ilianna Blanc, who scored 13 of her game-high 20 points to pair with seven rebounds, said the game was too close and they knew it was important to close it out.
“[Peron] told us that we are all sleeping and not playing like this was going to be our last game,” Blanc said. “We knew coming into the game that this determined if we were going to make playoffs, so we kind of snapped out of it and knew we needed to get it done.”
The Lancers outshot LA Trade Tech with 42 percent from the field and were able to come out victorious.
Peron was also happy with Blanc’s performance and mentioned, “Judith needs to score 20, [Ilianna] needs to score 20, and Ella needs to score 12 the next three or four games for us to have a chance to win.”
Wednesday game against Mt. SAC didn’t go as planned as the Mounties did everything they needed to come out with the victory and remain undefeated in conference play.
PCC felt the pressure in Mt. SAC’s gym as they finished shooting 38 percent from the field and 33 percent from behind the arc compared to the Mounties’ 50 percent from the field and 53 percent from three.
Pasadena beat the El Camino-Compton Tartars 87-30 on Wednesday.
With two games left in the regular season, the Lancers head to South Region’s No. 7 East Los Angeles College on Feb. 12 at 5 p.m.
The Lancers fell to ELAC by four points at home earlier this season.
PCC’s playoff hopes are still alive.