The Pasadena City College men's basketball team passed its first test out of the gate, outlasting Moorpark College in double overtime, 93-86, in the Lancers 2018-19 season opener at the Ventura We Play Hard Tournament on Thursday.
PCC won its season opener for the first time since the 2014-15 season when it beat Orange Coast (also at the Ventura College tourney). The Lancers hadn't played a game to overtime in 38 games, none last season. The last time they went to double overtime was also in 2014 in a December tourney loss against Allan Hancock, 78-74. It's been 13 years since the team last won in two OT periods, 93-80 over Cypress at the PCC-hosted 2005 Crown City Classic.
Against Moorpark, the Lancers were led by All-South Coast Conference honorable mention and letterman guard Josiah Woods, one of only three returners from last season. Woods scored a team-high 25 points, including 14 of the team's 26 points in the two 5-minute overtime periods. Woods made 6-for-9 on 3-point shots. Tied at 67-67 after regulation and 73-73 after the first OT, Woods sank a trio of treys, leading the team from an 80-75 deficit. His third 3-pointer gave PCC the lead for good at 86-84 with 1:07 left.
Another key player was sophomore forward Ivan Egbunike, the son of PCC track and field/cross country head coach Innocent Egbunike, who scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Letterman forward Jordan Simpson added six points. All three returning players were part of the opening-game starting lineup. They were joined by sophomore transfer guard Chris Odionu (13 points, seven rebounds) and freshman newcomer point guard Khristion Courseault (six points, four assists).
Odionu was a co-MVP of the Pioneer League while at Leuzinger High and then played at Arizona State University briefly as a walk-on in the 2016-17 season. Courseault joins the team after being an All-CIF Southern Section Division-1A selection at Loyola High.
Off the bench, sophomore transfer forward Chris Blount scored 10 points with four rebounds and two steals while second-year transfer guard Giovonni Jackson tallied 10 points. Blount played at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College three years ago after playing his prep basketball also in Ohio. Jackson played last season at East Los Angeles College after averaging 22 points as a prep senior and being named Pioneer League MVP at Torrance High.
Other freshmen on the 15-player PCC roster are guard Skyye De Catur, who played on a CIF Division 1AA finalist at Maranatha High, guard Terrance Boykin (from Atlanta, Georgia), guard Rod Terry (from Little Rock, Arkansas), All-Rio Hondo League guard Patric Panoosi (La Canada HS), forward Deandro Worrell (from El Paso, Texas), forward Carmelo Amaibi (San Gabriel Academy, originally from Nigeria), forward Jacovyn Scott (Compton High), and London Farmer (Connections Academy).
In his 12th season at PCC, the Lancers are directed by head coach Michael Swanegan and his assistant coaching staff of Jesse Ellis, Keith Hollimon, Idris Jones and Hosie Ward.
The Lancers next play host Ventura Friday, Nov. 2 at 5 p.m. and then Riverside City College on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 3 p.m. in the round-robin tourney.