Fantastic Finish Gives Cerritos Last-Second Win Over Women's Basketball

Abigail Saville (left) battles for the loose ball in the team's loss at Cerritos College (photo by Richard Quinton).
Abigail Saville (left) battles for the loose ball in the team's loss at Cerritos College (photo by Richard Quinton).

A 2-point lead with one second left proved not enough as the state #25 Pasadena City College women's basketball team saw a win turn into a loss in a finish that literally was frozen in time. Host Cerritos College scored back-to-back baskets in what amounted to two buzzer beaters in sending the shocked Lancers to a 62-60, South Coast Conference Crossover defeat on Wednesday evening.

After Antuanae Garrett gave the Lancers a 60-58 lead with a pair of free throws on different possessions, Cerritos thought it had sent the game to overtime when Melana Goodloe sank a short turnaround jumper in the key as the fourth-quarter buzzer went off. 

Instead, the referees put 0.4 of a second on the clock due to the rule that the clock must be stopped on a made basket in the final minute of play. With PCC taking the ball out of bounds under his own basket, Garrett ended up rolling the ball inbounds because the clock also would not start until it was touched. The Falcons' Rayne Rodriguez played Hero #2 as she stole the ball in front of PCC guard Jessica Lopez and lifted the roller instinctively toward the glass for the game-winning basket as the buzzer sounded for a second time.

The miracle plays sent PCC to 11-8 on the season while Cerritos (5-13) beat the Lancers for the first time in eight years. 

Abigail Saville led Pasadena with 18 points and 14 rebounds, Vanessa Epperson added 15 points and four assists while Garrett tallied 15 points, six assists and four steals. For Cerritos, Rodriguez and Jayden Estrada each scored 16 points. 

The Lancers rallied from down 31-18 at halftime and 46-31 going into the fourth quarter. An Epperson jumper capped a 20-4 run to give PCC the lead at 51-50. The teams traded the lead five more times before it was over. Epperson scored 10 of the Lancers' 29 points in the final 10 minutes. 

The scheduled crossover game for Friday, Jan. 19 v. El Camino has been cancelled as the Warriors do not have enough players to play the remainder of their season. All of their games will be simply cancellations as the SCC ruled that since the announcement came before the start of divisional play that it would not affect the standings.

PCC's next game will be Wednesday, Jan. 24 as it hosts East Los Angeles on Coaches v. Cancer Night at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to the American Cancer Society.