MONTEREY PARK, CA — The East Los Angeles College women's basketball team opened defense of its South Coast Conference North championship title from last season with a 64-56 win over Pasadena City College.
No. 11 state-ranked ELAC improves to 13-6 overall and 1-0 in SCC North play. The Lady Huskies won their third straight game. Pasadena (12-9, 0-1) is No. 15-ranked in the South Region Poll.
Pasadena controlled the game in the first half behind the play of their 6-foot-3 sophomore center Alisa Shinn (Crescenta Valley HS) on offense and on defense from 6-foot-2 freshman forward Mercy Odima (Village Christian HS) who is from Nairobi, Kenya.
Shinn scored 22 points and had eight rebounds by the half. Odima towered to be the rebound leader for the Lancers, who opened with a 14-3 run. ELAC played catch up the first half and was down 18-13 after the first quarter and 37-29 at the break.
The Lady Huskies turned up their defense and controlled the second half, which included a 19-7 point difference in the third quarter. Shin sat out most of the second half because of foul trouble and scored just one point in the second half as the Huskies adjusted to her inside play.
Once ELAC took the lead, they thwarted any Pasadena comeback with offensive rebounds, which led to second chance points. ELAC’s relentless coverage helped Pasadena to commit 24 turnovers, 14 of them in the second half.
Three Huskies scored in double figures. Sophomore forward Monica Garcia (Garfield High School) made up for a slow start and scored a team-high 18 points, 14 in the second half. She finished with six rebounds and two steals.
Freshman forward Dominique Godbolt (Fairfax HS) scored 13 points and finished with 16 rebounds. She is one of the state leaders of double doubles with 14. Godbolt had six of ELAC’s 17 offensive rebounds, a game-high four steals and three of the Huskies six blocked shots.
Sophomore forward Stevi Hall’s (Harrisburg, PA / Harrisburg HS) quickness helped her score 15 points. Hall shot 50% (6-of-12) with smart shot choices and she shot 75% (3-of-4) from the free throw line. Sophomore guard Destinee Anaya (Irving, TX / MacArthur HS) scored seven points and hit one of ELAC’s two 3-point shots.
ELAC freshman guard Jaelynn Curley (Ganado, AZ / Ganado HS) connected on the other 3-pointer and had a game-high seven assists. ELAC had 19 assists, most of them in the second half.
Pasadena was led by Shinn with 23 points, nine rebounds and all three of the Lancers blocked shots. Odima finished with 10 points and a game-high 20 rebounds.
Shinn and Garcia are the SCC North’s top two scorers. Shinn is No.1 with a 19.0 points per game average while Garcia is No. 2 with an 18.5 average.
Godbolt and Odima lead the conference in rebounds with 13.5 and 13.1 per game, respectively. Godbolt has the fourth best average in the state, Odima the seventh.
The Lady Huskies play at No. 6 Mt. San Antonio College on Friday at 5 p.m. The two teams tied for the SCC North title last year and are each a state contender this year again.
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story submitted by Tadzio Garcia