Offense Erupts As Women's Hoops Returns To Win Column

Lancer Melissa Felix fires up one of her five 3-point baskets in PCC's win over Chaffey Wednesday, photo by Richard Quinton.
Lancer Melissa Felix fires up one of her five 3-point baskets in PCC's win over Chaffey Wednesday, photo by Richard Quinton.

After a grind of facing state top 20-ranked teams in seven of its last eight games, the Pasadena City College women's basketball team needed some respite from the brutal schedule. The No. 12-ranked Lancers found it Wednesday night as they scored a season-high and ended a 3-game losing streak in an 81-52 rout over South Coast Conference North Division last-place Chaffey at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.

The Lancers (17-6, 2-3) pressed the Panthers all over the floor and made a season-high 27 steals while Chaffey (5-15, 0-5) committed 34 turnovers. PCC led 14-7 after one quarter and a modest 31-19 by halftime. In the second half, the Lancers decided to go up tempo and it resulted in a 50-point final 20 minutes. The 81 points surpassed the 79 they scored against Riverside in the 2018-19 season opener.

Hitting the 80-point mark took a rare 4-point play as Melissa Felix bombed in her fifth 3-pointer of the game, was fouled and sank the ensuing free throw with 28 seconds remaining. PCC led by as much as 31 points early in the fourth quarter.

Playing just 22 minutes, sophomore center Dariel Johnson collected 22 points, 13 rebounds, six steals and three blocked shots. The freshman Felix came off the bench to shoot 5-for-11 from outside the 3-point circle and had 16 points. Frosh point guard Cosette Balmy had a strong all-around effort with 14 points, six rebounds, six steals and five assists. 

Other players with solid contributions included birthday girl and sophomore reserve guard Elise Ortega (turned 21) who scored all eight of her points after making four steals that led to her baskets. Sophomore backup guard Jade Lin added seven points and made some nifty bullet passes as part of her four assists. Frosh center-forward Alexandra Arreola and reserve center Teana DuBose each scored six points and each snagged four rebounds. Starting forward Zaira Velasquez chipped in two points, six rebounds, and two assists. 

Ten different Lancers made at least one steal. The team's 35 total field goals and 83 attempts also reached team season highs. 

For Chaffey, Mariah Castro scored 13 points to lead three players in double figures. 

On Friday, Feb. 8, PCC hosts Rio Hondo on "Coaches v. Cancer Night" at the HP Gym. All proceeds for the event will be donated to the American Cancer Society. Tip-off is 7 p.m. following the men's game.