Women's Cagers Lose Defensive War v. State #4 Mt. SAC

Tatiana Ayala goes to the hoop during PCC's game v. Mt. SAC on Friday night (Michael Watkins, Athletics).
Tatiana Ayala goes to the hoop during PCC's game v. Mt. SAC on Friday night (Michael Watkins, Athletics).

On a Friday night where state #4 Mt. San Antonio's defense concentrated on completely stopping state-leading scorer Lupe Vazquez, her Pasadena City College women's basketball team in turn shut down the Mounties offense in one of the most intense, defensive battles of the season. The Mounties prevailed, 57-52, but PCC's efforts stood out in what has been a difficult 2021-2022 for the program.

In the South Coast Conference North Division contest at PCC's Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium, PCC trailed 21-12 after one quarter, then outscored the division-leading Mounties, 20-2, over a 12-and-a-half minute span. The Lancers (8-10 overall, 1-4 in conference) held Mt. SAC to just one basket in the second quarter alone and led 32-23 on a 3-point bomb by Maiya Villanueva early in the third quarter. 

Mt. SAC (20-3, 5-0) recovered from its offensive fog by going on a 17-3 run. Both teams defenses raised the electricity with stifling defense. With 3:50 left, Vazquez, who was shadowed the entire game by Mt. SAC defensive genius Mina Guevara-Goss, got free to sink her only 3-pointer of the contest that cut the Mounties lead to 51-48 with 3:50 left.

PCC center Tatiana Ayala hit a jumper in the key with 39 seconds to go that again trimmed the lead to three, 55-52, but Mt. SAC ran out the clock for its 13 straight victory. Guevara-Goss made six of the Mounties 14 steals

Vazquez, who averages 29 points a game, scored her season-low of 15 points, but it still tied game-high honors with Mt. SAC's Skylar Little. Villanueva was 4-for-9 on 3-point attempts and had one of her best games of the season with 14 points, five rebounds, and three steals.

Off the bench, Kaniya Hill was a big factor as she scored eight points with three steals as she broke through Mt. SAC's pressure defense with quick drives up the floor. Naomi Turner (seven points, two steals), Emily Trinh (four points, five rebounds), and Ayala (four points, 12 rebounds, two blocks) all played outstanding defense.

Pasadena hosts Long Beach City College in a makeup of a Jan.14 postponed game on Monday, Feb. 7 in a 6 p.m. tip-off. With no fans permitted in attendance due to COVID-19 policies at PCC, all Lancers home games can be viewed at: Live Stream link

Maiya Villanueva launches a 3-pointer


Naomi Turner on defense

Emily Trinh goes up for a shot