SCC North Taking Toll On Women's Basketball

Daniela Mendez goes up for a layup in a recent Lancers game.
Daniela Mendez goes up for a layup in a recent Lancers game.

The Pasadena City College women's basketball team continues to tumble down the state rankings and the standings of the state's most powerful conference--the South Coast North Division. On Friday night, #3 rated LA Trade Tech posted a season high in points against the visiting #14 Lancers and dropped PCC into fifth place in the 6-team division, 89-66.

The Lancers are 17-9 overall, but just 2-6 in the division as unranked Rio Hondo has moved into fourth at 3-5. PCC has lost six of its last seven games, and is in the middle of its second straight 3-game losing streak, sandwiched only by a 29-point win over last-place Chaffey. 

Trade Tech is tied with #6 East Los Angeles for first place in the conference and improved to 2-1 v. PCC this season. The Beavers scored 20 more points than the Lancers had allowed in any of its previous 25 games. Cheyenne McKinnie scored a game-high 25 points and teammate Deejanae Poland added 20 points. The higher scoring contest was an opposite of their last meeting, a 55-41 LATT win on Jan. 30 when PCC was limited it to its lowest scoring total of the season. 

For PCC, Dariel Johnson scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while Daniela Mendez had 13 points and Cosette Balmy picked up 12 points. Pasadena's sloppy play resulted in 32 turnovers, a new season worst. After shooting under 50 percent from the free throw line in their previous seven SCC games combined, the Lancers at least improved in that area by making 15 of 24 attempts (62.5 percent). Balmy was 6-for-6 from the line and Elise Ortega 5-for-6 as part of her seven points. 

In the second quarter, the Lancers only trailed by one, 19-18, on a 3-pointer by Johnson, but Trade Tech would build a 12-point lead by halftime, 44-32. In the third quarter, McKinnie rained in a trio of treys and scored 14 of the team's 27 points as the Beavers extended the lead to 71-45. PCC never mounted a comeback. 

On Feb. 13 at #6 East LA, PCC came out strong, taking an early 10-point lead at 22-12. The Huskies would storm back but Pasadena eventually took a 7-point lead in the fourth quarter, 52-45. ELAC, however, took the last lead, 56-54, on two free throws by Adriana Gonzalez with 3:41 left. The Lancers managed to cut it to one on a Mendez triple with 13 seconds remaining but two Huskies free throws sealed PCC's defeat.

Pasadena hosts #12-ranked Mt. San Antonio on Wednesday, Feb. 20 in a 7 p.m. tip-off at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium.