Despite a valiant second half rally to send the game into overtime, the 10th-seeded Lancers women’s basketball team could not overcome a 14-point first half deficit, losing to seventh-seeded El Camino College, 71-64, in Round 2 of the Southern California Regional Playoffs Friday night.
The Lancers dug themselves an early hole in the first half, allowing the Warriors to take an early 18-4 lead and momentum throughout the beginning of the first half. Turnovers and foul trouble haunted the Lancers Friday as the freshman tandem of Regerina Baker and Judith Espinoza were hampered with foul trouble due to a few questionable calls. Despite the sluggish start,the Lancers battled back to tie the game at 27. At halftime the Lancers trailed 30-27.
“We had an off night,” Baker said. “We weren’t making shots, we were in foul trouble. It was hard to play aggressive.”
The athletic and aggressive Baker was limited with four fouls in the second half but came up big when the Lancers’ needed her most. With 6.8 seconds left in regulation, Baker made a steal on an inbounds pass and scored the game-tying basket to send the game to overtime at 62-62.
“Playing with Reg has made the game a lot easier for me,” Espinoza said. “Because she’s a great player so many teams are always focused on doubling her so there’s usually an open player or she beats the double team to the basket.”
Despite being in foul trouble, Espinoza continued to attack the basket with ease and finished with a game-high 25 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
“Judith is just poised,” freshman guard Hope Peron said. “She’s battled through a shoulder injury and hasn’t let it get in her way.
“I’m very excited for Judith,” Baker said. “She was in foul trouble, but we always expect the best from Judith. Someone had to step up with all the fouls and she did just that.”
Baker finished the game with 12 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Emily Thach added nine points and freshman guard Chy’annea Hodges added nine points and seven rebounds.
The Warriors were led by Nisja Bass, who scored 21 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals. Kyla Jolly added 11 points for ECC.
The Lancers finished the season 17-12.