Men’s basketball shoots for history

(photo by Tadzio Garcia)
(courtesy of Tadzio Garcia)

 

By Dan Gudino

Published: Sunday, Feb. 15, 2016 at 9:06 p.m.

Last Modified: Thursday, Feb, 17, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. 

 

The men’s basketball team tied the 22 wins of last year against Pasadena City College Feb. 12, at home 75-71.

ELAC Head Coach John Mosley did not show emotion after the game. It was old news for Mosley. The Huskies matched the wins of last season and the 2001-2002 season.

“I’m not tracking that. We’ll celebrate after it’s all done. We’re just trying to get each game, trying to put ourselves in position to win the conference and get a good position for seeding for the playoffs,” Mosley said.

Coach Mosley and the Huskies are two wins away from repeating history. A total of 24 wins would tie the school record for most wins in a season.

Tying last year’s 22 wins did not bring much of a smile from Mosley, nor did the poor shooting. ELAC shot 40 percent, but sophomore guard Iziahiah Sweeny was on point. Sweeny led all scorers with 25 points. Sweeny carried the Huskies alongside sophomore guard Jarrell Tate. Tate stepped up and scored 18 points off the bench.

Scoring production was lacking because Huskies’ second-leading scorer sophomore center Richard Bivens did not suit up. Bivens was out with major migraine headaches and is expected back in the next game.

The rest of the starters went a combined 6 of 20 (30 percent) shooting.

PCC and ELAC went back and forth, staying close throughout the game.  The score tied at 32-32 midway through the second half, but with four minutes remaining, the Huskies trailed, 64-62.

With ELAC up 73-71, they were able to force two turnovers. With Bivens out of the game, sophomore forward Arinze Anakwenze hobbled on his right ankle and rejected a layup attempt by PCC’s freshman guard Tey Williams. The layup would have tied the game.

Defense played a key role in the biggest part of the game. Tate’s late game steal in the next PCC possession kept PCC scoreless in the last minute of play.

ELAC missed 22 free throws at the foul line on Feb. 10, the game that snapped a school record 12-game win streak. Against PCC, ELAC went 15 of 19 (78 percent) to close out the game.  

ELAC has a 22-3 record, considered the best start and the least losses in school history. 

“We always talk about wanting to continue to do well. You don’t get many chances to set records and be part of history. That’s been their (Huskies’) goal from the beginning. They already know they are a part of history. We’re just trying to continue our start,” Mosley said.

In other South Coast Conference news, Mt. San Antonio College was off on Feb. 12. Mt. SAC and ELAC are tied for first place in the SCC.

If the teams finish tied for the top spot, they will share the title. “We lost the opportunity to be a No. 2 seed in the playoffs. We would have all home games, but losing that game, (vs. Mt.SAC, Feb. 10, 77-73) we lost that (opportunity). So we’re hoping to get a No. 4 seed, where we get at least a home game,” Mosley said.

With a better strength of schedule and after beating Mt. SAC by 20 points on Jan. 22, ELAC will get a higher seeding in the playoffs.

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