ELAC women's basketball stuns Vikings
MONTEREY PARK, CA — The state’s No. 16-ranked East Los Angeles College women’s basketball team shocked No. 5 Long Beach City College, 57-54, in a non-conference divisional crossover game in the South Gym.
“Long Beach is a good team and we played them tough in the box,” said ELAC Head Coach Bruce Turner. “We fought, scrambled and our conditioning paid off. We played our game.”
ELAC’s alert, focused play and quick footwork on defense contributed to nine blocked shots, three by Husky freshman center Anastasia Tsybaeva (Burbank High School) who leads the team with 21 to date.
After a first quarter see-saw battle that ended with Long Beach on top 12-11, the Huskies controlled the second quarter with their tenacious play and outscored the Vikings 19-13 and took a 30-25 lead at the half.
Long Beach opened the third quarter with an 8-0 run with a pressing defense that contributed to three ELAC turnovers and a 33-30 Viking lead, with 6:27 remaining in the period.
ELAC caught up at 37-all when freshman guard Alissa Gomez (Roosevelt HS) connected on a two-point floater with 3:42 left in the third quarter followed by a freshman guard Kamara Smith (Carson HS) jump shot that gave the Huskies a 39-37 lead.
The game continued with four lead changes and another tie followed by a Long Beach 7-2 run to end the third quarter. Long Beach led 50-44.
ELAC rallied with eight consecutive points to open the final quarter.
The Huskies took the lead for good, off of a freshman guard Kimberly Peraza (Montebello HS) three-point swish from the right pocket. It was ELAC 52-50 with 4:17 remaining in the game.
The teams traded baskets. Gomez hit a jump shot with 25.8 seconds to give the Huskies a 56-52 lead and the home crowd erupted.
ELAC still led 56-54 after Long Beach scored with 14.7 seconds remaining.
ELAC freshman guard Tiffani Martinez (Montebello HS) connected on 1-of-2 free throws with 9.3 seconds left for a 57-54 ELAC lead. Quick Husky play resulted in a Long Beach turnover with 1.8 seconds remaining for the ELAC win.
“We played as one today, as a team,” said Gomez. “We came out hard on defense with the mindset that that’s what would win this game.”
ELAC’s leading scorers were sophomore forward Jessica Sanchez (Roosevelt HS) with 13 points, Smith (12) and Martinez (11).
Gomez had a team-high four assists for the Huskies. Teammate sophomore guard Yasmine Tweedy (Chesterfield, VA Manchester HS) had a team-high five steals.
Viking and former Husky sophomore guard Taylor Smith returned to play in the ELAC South Gym for the first time since 2014. “ELAC is a good team. We (Long Beach) need to stay focused to be able to play another good team like ELAC,” said Taylor Smith.
“Returning to play here was pretty fun. It brought back many memories,” said Taylor Smith.
Leading scorers for Long Beach (14-3) included freshman guard Sopavy Seng (Long Beach Poly HS) with 11 points and sophomore forward Lupe Cruz (South Gate HS) with 10.
ELAC (13-5) held Long Beach’s four three-point specialists, including Seng and Cruz, to just two long distance shots.
ELAC continues non-conference divisional crossover games this week and travels to Los Angeles Harbor College (1-12) on Wednesday and hosts El Camino College (9-8) on Friday Jan. 13. Both games begin at 5 p.m.
In other South Coast Conference North Division non-conference divisional crossover games played today Harbor lost 99-45 to Pasadena City College (10-8) and El Camino defeated Los Angeles Trade Tech College (7-8) 70-57.
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia