By Dan Gudino
Defense made the difference at home for the East Los Angeles College women’s basketball team as they beat Pasadena City College, 58-45, in the third round of the Southern California Regional playoffs March 2.
The Huskies responded in round three with stellar defense throughout the game, only allowing 11 points in the second period and eight points in the third. ELAC came into the game v. PCC allowing 94 points, the most this season, in round two against Santa Ana College.
“The last time we played Pasadena, we just played Mt. SAC (Mount San Antonio College) on a Wednesday and played Pasadena on Friday. We were spent from the Mt. SAC game, trying to comeback from 26 points against them. So this time around, we felt good coming into the game,” ELAC head coach Bruce Turner said.
The focal point of the ELAC defense was to contain PCC freshman guard Judith Espinoza, who scored 34 points in a victory against Ventura College in round two.
“She (Espinoza) was part of the game plan, we had to contain her. She’s a great ball player, she can drive the ball and she can shoot. That was one of our keys, to stay in front of her, not to let her drive straight to the basket,” ELAC freshman guard Allissa Gomez said.
Gomez on defense added two steals to her team-high 13 points. “I drived (sic) to the basket more in this game. We’re ready for any team, we’re just ready to come out and play. It just keeps going. Tomorrow, we have practice and we have to go hard in practice because the way you practice is the way you play,” Gomez said.
For the second straight game, ELAC freshman center Anastasia Tsybaeva posted a double-double. Tsybaeva scored 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. She also had two exciting blocks that fired up the Huskies’ 255 spectators in attendance.
The energy of the Huskies was at an elevated level, ELAC sophomore Yasmine Tweedy said.
“Intensity was the difference. We didn’t score as many points as we did in our last game. We worked together and that (PCC) was a pretty good team. They beat us last time, but we were able to hit them first, even though it took us a while to get our rhythm,” Tweedy said.
ELAC will play at No. 2 Mount San Jacinto College on Saturday at 7 p.m.