Women's Cagers Place 2nd At COD Winter Classic

Kailyn Gideon, sophomore center, blocks a shot in a recent game, image by Richard Quinton.
Kailyn Gideon, sophomore center, blocks a shot in a recent game, image by Richard Quinton.

The state No. 9-ranked Pasadena City College women's basketball team settled for second at the College of the Desert Winter Classic Dec. 15-17, losing to No. 7-rated Mt. San Jacinto in the tournament's championship game, 87-72.

MSJC's Delacy Brown, the MVP of the tourney, was one of three Eagles players to reach a 20 point-10 rebound double-double. Scoring 22 points, Brown added eight assists as Mt. San Jacinto (12-1)  took a 17-13 first-quarter lead and extended it to an 11-point margin by halftime. PCC (13-3) never got closer than six points the rest of the way. 

PCC had one of the program's greatest team free throw performances in school history, making 23 of 24 shots from the line for 96 percent accuracy. Jolene Robinson was a perfect 9-for-9 at the stripe and finished with a team-high 16 points to go with team bests on seven rebounds and three steals. 

All-Tournament selection Ilianna Blanc added 14 points and Jelissa Puckett contributed 12 points and 11 assists. Julissa Aguirre had 10 points off the Lancers bench. 

In the semifinals, PCC routed Oxnard, 81-51, as Blanc made 11-for-13 shots from the floor for 22 points (and six rebounds). Vanessa Zamora hit five 3-point bombs and scored 17 points off the bench. Bridget Phu made 4-for-5 on treys for 12 points while Kailyn Gideon added 12 points, six rebounds and blocked a PCC season-high nine shots. Alisa Shinn had five points and 10 rebonds. 

The Lancers opened the COD Classic with another 30-point win, defeating Victor Valley, 94-64. Robinson and Zamora (five more 3s) each scored 17 points while Puckett totaled 15 points, eight assists and six steals. Aguirre (5-for-6 from the field) contributed 12 points while Gideon had 12 points and seven rebounds. 

Blanc became the 32nd member of the PCC 500-point club earlier this month.