By Dan Gudino
Published: Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016 at 10:24 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, Feb, 17, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.
In a South Coast Conference matchup at Mount San Antonio College, the East Los Angeles College Men’s basketball team snapped its 12-game win streak Feb. 10, 77-73.
The last time the Huskies lost was Dec. 19 at Chaffey College, a 84-80 overtime loss.
Huskies Assistant Coach Kenneth Hunter said poor free throw shooting was the biggest reason for the loss. ELAC statistically ranks near the bottom, 90th out of 92 teams in Free Throw Percentage.
“At the end of the day, you can’t go 15 of 37 (40%) from the free throw line and beat good teams,” Hunter said.
Mt. SAC played in front of an emotional home crowd on Sophomore Night and avenged the 20-point loss at ELAC, Jan. 22.
“We have to learn to settle down and channel emotions before stepping onto the free throw line. That’s why they call them free throws,” Hunter said.
ELAC is in second place in the North Division of the South Coast Conference at 4-1 and Mt. SAC is in first at 5-1.
The Huskies need Mt. SAC’ to lose to one of its next two opponents and ELAC will have to win the last three games to win the SCC.
ELAC will also face Mt. SAC’s next two opponents, Pasadena City College and El Camino Compton Center. However, it needs to beat El Camino Compton Center on Feb. 12. In its last meeting with Compton, ELAC had to come back from 13 points to win.
The chances of Mt. SAC losing to PCC or Trade Tech are slim. If Mt. SAC wins the North of the SCC, it would mark its third conference title in four seasons. ELAC won it in the 2013-2014 season.
The Huskies had a remarkable streak with 12 straight wins, an all-time record for men’s basketball.
During the streak, ELAC climbed to No. 4 in the California Community College Athletic Association rankings, where it started No. 16 in the preseason.
There was sophomore guard Iziahiah (pronounced ease-EYE-uh) Sweeny, with his own streak. Sweeny scored more than 10 points in 13 of the last 15 games, and leads the team with 15 points per game.
Sweeny scored five points against Mt. SAC. “We didn’t come to play, I definitely didn’t come out to play,” Sweeny said.
Head Coach John Mosley eclipsed 20 wins in each of his four seasons at ELAC. With an 85-31 all-time record at ELAC, Mosley is on pace to surpass 100 wins sometime next season. Prior to Mosley’s arrival in 2012, the Huskies had 10 straight losing seasons dating back to the 2001-2002 season.
ELAC ranks No. 1 in the state in rebounding. The rebound is an effort play of who wants the ball more. More than anyone, ELAC has outrebounded its opponents by 15 rebounds per game. Against Mt. SAC, they lost the rebound game, 35 to 24.
These second chances and eliminating their opponent’s second chances swing games in the Huskies’ favor. The Huskies showed little effort rebounding on the offensive side. Sophomore forward Richard Bivens grabbed six offensive rebounds out of the Huskies eight total rebounds. Bivens finished with 15 points.
The Huskies have a deep roster of players. In his first start of the season at Mt. SAC, sophomore small forward Jarrell Tate is No. 1 in Field Goal Percentage. Shooting 66 percent puts Tate, from Wenonah High School in Birmingham, Alabama, on top in Calif. Tate had a team high 16 points in the loss to Mt. SAC.
Overall in the season, ELAC has an impressive 21-3 record, which marked its best start to the season of all time. With one more win, it would match the season win total high of 22 wins of last year.
“Although there are still some conference games left, this is shaping up to be not just the best men’s basketball team in history, but the best sports team in school history,” Athletic Director Al Cone said.
The uncharacteristic game at Mt. SAC could be credited to the long lay-off ELAC had between games. Before its game at Mt. SAC, the last time the Huskies touched the court was seven days prior. Uncommon for college basketball, as two games a week is standard.
“The time off might have been a reason for our loss. I feel like we need more games. Some of our guys played more in high school. They’ve (California Community College Athletic Association) cut 10 games out of the season. Last year, we got to 22 wins because we played in the playoffs,” Mosley said.