The Saddleback women's basketball team saw its season come to an end on Friday night with a 72-65 loss at home to Pasadena City College in the second round of the CCCAA Southern California Regional Playoffs. The Gauchos finished the season 21-10 while the Lancers advance to the regional finals.
Saddleback looked in control at the half, leading 36-29 at the intermission after shooting 48% from the field and forcing eight turnovers on defense. Janae Omusi and Irma Ealy both had 12 points in the half against the bigger PCC lineup, making 9-of-14 from the field while combining for 11 rebounds.
Pasadena's size took over in the third quarter as Saddleback came out cold. The Gauchos couldn't buy a basket as the Lancers started pressing and getting to the foul line. Ealy picked up four fouls in the third quarter alone and eventually fouled out of the game early in the fourth quarter. The beneficiary was Alisa Shinn, who spent a lifetime at the free throw line over the final 20 minutes. Shinn went to the line 15 times in the second half alone, making eight. When she wasn't shooting, Jelissa Puckett was, making 4-of-6 from the charity stripe over the final 20 minutes. Pasadena City ended up shooting 25 free throws in the second half alone while outrebounding the Gauchos 27-19 over the final 20 minutes.
Saddleback entered the fourth quarter down 53-44 after Pasadena City outscored them 24-8 for the quarter. The Gauchos eventually cut the lead to four at 61-57 when Laura Tapia buried a three-pointer with 2:09 remaining. Puckett responded on the next possession for the Lancers and the Gauchos never got any closer.
Omusi finished with a team-high 18 points while Kiazha Ginwright chipped in with 17. Pasadena was led by Shinn, who finished with a game-high 22 points.
Saddleback finishes the season 21-10 after the loss. Pasadena City advances to the regional finals next Saturday to play the winner of East Los Angeles College and Santa Ana College.