MONTEREY PARK, CA — The East Los Angeles College men’s basketball team edged Pasadena City College 75-71 earlier tonight after Mt. San Antonio College ended the Huskies 12-game win streak with a 77-73 shocker on Wednesday.
There were 24 lead changes and 16 ties in the close win against Pasadena. ELAC was perfect at the charity stripe down the line, something they were not able to do at Mt. SAC.
ELAC freshman forward Chima Wami (Santiago HS) broke a 71-all tie when he hit nothing but net in making two free throws with 1:02 remaining in the game.
ELAC sophomore forward Arinze Anakwenze (John Muir HS) blocked a Pasadena shot attempt with 0:54 seconds left followed by teammate sophomore guard Jarrell Tate (Birmingham, Alabama Wenonah HS) who made two free throws with 0:16 seconds left for a 75-71 Husky win.
ELAC sophomore guard Iziahiah Sweeny (Compton HS) was back in form and scored a game-high 25 points after only scoring five against Mt. SAC.
At Mt. SAC, there were nine lead changes and four ties in the first half. Mt. SAC lead at the break, 30-27.
The Mounties built a 45-33 lead, their largest, with 15:49 remaining in the game. ELAC rallied and tied the score with 12:38 left when freshman guard Sequan Walker hit a 3-point shot.
Mt. SAC went up by 11 points, 68-57, with 4:25 remaining. ELAC responded with two consecutive dunks, the first by Anakwenze at 4:18, the second by Tate off an assist by Walker with 3:32 remaining.
Tate scored four more consecutive points after his dunk and the Huskies pulled closer, down 68-65 with 2:29 left.
Down 75-73 with 16.8 seconds left after Mt. SAC missed two free throws, ELAC did not call time out and sloppy Husky play resulted in a charge by Tate with 10.7 seconds left.
ELAC still had another chance, and the ball, with 7.3 second left, but a designed play fell short. Mt. SAC connected on two meaningless free throws with 2/10ths of a second left.
Four Mounties scored in double figures. Two of them connected on more free throws than the Huskies—freshman Marquis Reed was 10-of-10 at the line and sophomore Charles Evans was 9-of-10.
Tate scored 16 points off 6-of-7 shot attempts and 4-of-6 at the line. Husky sophomore forward Richard Bivens (Bakersfield Ridgeview HS) scored 15 points, but mustered only 3-of-11 free throws. Walker scored 14 points, nine from 3-point shots.
The Huskies connected on only 15-of-37 free throws (40.5 percent) while Mt. SAC hit 29-of-37.
“You have to make free throws if you want to win championships,” said ELAC Coach John Mosley. “And play good defense.”
Even though ELAC (22-3, 5-1) lost to Mt. SAC (14-10, 5-1), the Huskies can win their second conference title in three years if they win their final two regular season games.
If both teams win out, they will tie for the South Coast Conference North Division championship.
ELAC hosts El Camino-Compton Center (14-11, 4-3) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. while Mt. SAC is at L.A. Trade Tech (2-20, 1-5).
The Huskies play at crosstown city rival Trade Tech on Friday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. while Mt. SAC is at Pasadena (5-21, 1-6).
“The loss to Mt. SAC hurts because we lost our second seed in the playoffs,” said Bivens. “What matters most right now is that we are in a position to win a conference title.”
“We will be prepared for Compton’s (press) and Trade Tech’s (play) because it’s one game at a time for us,” said Bivens.
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia