The Lady Lancers extended their winning streak to three after two away games with a lopsided 87-30 win over El Camino College-Compton Center on Feb. 10 and an impressive 77-53 win against a frustrated SoCal Region No. 7 East Los Angeles College on Feb. 12.
Pasadena clicked from the tipoff against ELAC. They remained focused and knew what had to be done to come out with the win.
ELAC traveled to Pasadena on Jan. 27 and won by four points while injuring a few Lancers in the process.
Head coach Joe Peron said that he is glad this game didn’t get out of control like the last game did and applauded the referees. He said that last matchup ended with a few Lancers finishing the game with a bloody nose and hurt ribs.
“They are so physical and nasty that the referees did a fantastic job in not letting it get out of control,” Peron said. “They couldn’t play their basketball because it’s a ‘Hack-a-Pasadena’ when we play them.”
The shove ELAC’s coach gave him during the postgame handshakes didn’t sit too well with him.
“The players are very respectful and their coach should learn from them,” he said.
Pasadena kept the Huskies under 30 percent shooting from the field and forced 24 turnovers.
“We’re two degrees better than two weeks ago but we were doing that stuff and it just wasn’t coming,” Peron said. “So now it’s inside of them and you saw the results, where we stopped their penetration, which they love to do, and we stopped their threes for the first 15 minutes of the first half.”
Point guard Judith Espinoza finished the game with 19 points, seven rebounds, and six assists while shooting 13 for 17 from the free throw line.
Espinoza said the team knew how important winning the game was to them, for more reasons than just moving up in the standings.
“This game, you can tell we really wanted it more. We knew what had to be done, and we knew how they play,” she said. “We had trouble with their shooting in the beginning and it hurt us a lot but we came out really hard. We just put everything out there and we fought all game. We all wanted the same thing and we achieved it together.”
Towards the beginning of the season, forward Ilianna Blanc didn’t play to her coach’s expectations but recently began to play as aggressive as last season in the few games she played before going down. She finished the game with 17 points and 14 rebounds shooting just over 50 percent from the field.
“I think with time, all the practices and games, I’m mentally getting more comfortable with my leg,” Blanc said. “I have to remind myself that it’s 90 percent mental and I know I have to trust my knee.”
Pasadena’s win against ECC-Compton wasn’t a surprise as they are winless in conference play and have only won two games.
The Lady Lancers got the ball rolling, shooting close to 50 percent across the board, and Blanc tallied a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Tartars struggled immensely, shooting 19 percent from the field and 5 percent from behind the arc.
Pasadena prepares for their final game of the regular season on Friday Feb. 19 against Mt. San Antonio College, who are undefeated against conference opponents.
The Lancers’ chances of a playoff berth depend on their final game and ELAC’s final two games against the bottom two teams of the conference, ECC-Compton and LA Trade Tech.