by Cerwin D. Haynes
(photo by Tadzio Garcia)
East Los Angeles College (19-1) followed a familiar pattern in tonight's victory over Long Beach City College (13-5): they started off the game slow, found some footing in the last 10 minutes of the first half, then used the second half to surge ahead and keep their opponent at bay long enough to close out the game. Led by Kealen Allen and Levelle Zeigler, the #4 state-ranked Huskies defeated the #23 ranked Pirates 83-68 to extend their team-record winning streak to 15 games. Allen led all scorers with 30 points while Zeigler scored 21.
The Huskies fell behind by seven to the Vikings in the first half, but were buoyed by Joseph Hampton's play off the bench. He had all nine of his points in the first half, using his size to bang down in the paint and convert tough inside baskets. Eventually, Allen and Zeigler got into their respective grooves and ELAC was able to go into halftime with a 38-34 lead.
The second half saw more strong play from Allen and Zeigler as the Huskies stretched their lead to 11. But LBCC is a quality squad who wouldn't let ELAC pull away any farther; they whittled the ELAC lead back down to four, but ELAC responded again to ultimately push the lead back to double digits. With two minutes left, Kristopher Smith hit a three-pointer that gave ELAC an 82-68 lead and effectively let the Huskies put the game on ice.
- Zeigler found Allen for several easy buckets, including two gorgeous alley-oop slams.
- ELAC was nearly perfect from the free-throw line tonight, making 28 of 30 from the charity stripe. Conversely, LBCC was 20 of 28 from the line.
- Tonight's promotional event saw head coach John Mosley get served with a faceful of pie at the end of the game. The server was former Huskies guard Marcus Romain, who was a member of the 2015 team that advanced all the way to the CCCAA State Championship game. He transferred onto Mississippi Valley State, and is now pursuing his Master's degree.
The Huskies are back home next Wednesday to begin conference play as they take on LACCD-rival LA Trade Tech. It'll be the latter half of a doubleheader - both school's women's teams will tip off at 5pm while the men square off at 7pm.