By Tadzio Garcia
It was the state’s No. 4-ranked East Los Angeles College winning at No. 8 El Camino College, 73-62, in a South Coast Conference divisional crossover game.
The game had 22 lead changes and five ties, the last tie with 3:43 left in the game.
The Huskies, 22-2 overall, outscored the Warriors 11-1 the remainder of the game, with sophomore forward Jocelyne Diaz scoring eight to quiet the rowdy home crowd.
The ELAC contingent of the 152 fans then took over vocally during the run. When the game ended, the entire crowd acknowledged play by standing and clapping while both teams shook hands.
“Our offense kept us in the game, but our defense won it,” ELAC freshman guard Dynasti Shelby said. “It was a close game, but in the end our defense worked together to be the difference.”
The Huskies, 22-2 overall, opened the second half with a 3-point shot by sophomore forward Kimberly Perez, her only connection of the game that brought the ELAC team to its feet.
After a 38-all tie with 16:42 left in the game, ELAC outscored El Camino (16-7) by eight points highlighted by five Husky steals by freshmen guards, Vianey Chavez (three) and Olivia Ochoa (two).
Ochoa, the Huskies’ leading scorer (16.3 points per game average), was held to five points in the first half, but found her groove in the second half finishing with 16 points, six steals and nine rebounds
Although the Warrior’s bench called out sophomore ELAC guard Kyla Martin-Burnley’s first-half attempted shots before she took them, it didn’t help. Martin-Burnley scored 14 points in the first half ending with a game-high 24.
Other ELAC standouts included sophomore guard Kristina Tatikian’s three 3-point swishes as well as 17 Husky steals including four from Shelby, three from Martin-Burnley and one from Perez.
The Huskies shot 75 percent from the line including Martrin-Burnley connecting on 6-for-6.
Sophomore guard Nisja Bass led the Warrior’s offense scoring a team-high 18 points including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc and 4-for-4 from the line.
Teammate sophomore forward Shontalene Trudeau had a double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds, three blocked shots) and was perfect from the line (2-of-2) to also lead the Warriors.
El Camino opened the game with its largest lead, 5-0, 58 seconds into the game. ELAC’s biggest lead was the final score.
Both colleges close out divisional crossover play on Wednesday Feb. 4. (7 p.m. tip-offs), with ELAC hosting Los Angeles Southwest College (6-14) while El Camino faces No. 1-ranked Mt. San Antonio College (25-0) on the road.