Mt. SAC women gear up for rival Pasadena

The close games have been few and far between for the No. 1 Mt. SAC women’s basketball team. But the Mounties should be tested tonight as conference rival Pasadena City (20-3) comes in for a 5:30 p.m. showdown.

The Lancers are ranked sixth in the state and have seven players averaging double figures including local product Kinyada Johnson (Diamond Ranch), a freshman point guard.

Defending state champion Mt. SAC (22-1) has won 22 straight since dropping its season opener to Orange Coast. Sophomores Jazlyn Davis (17.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.7 apg) and Carmen Deal (14.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg) have led the charge. Three others players are close to double figures – Etiwanda High graduate Safiyah Brown (9.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg), Blaire Edgardo (8.9 ppg) and Alexis Brown (8.2 ppg).

Mt. SAC is averaging 76 points a game and is giving up an average of only 51.7, further evidence of lopsided wins.

“We’re really looking forward to it,” coach Laura Beeman said. “It will be great to play with that kind of energy and atmosphere because we haven’t had a lot of close games. It will be nice to be really tested.”

Beeman added that the rivalry has developed over the last five years. It intensified in 2004 when the Mounties beat the Lancers in a state championship game between conference foes.

Pasadena is one of the few teams that has been able to compete with Mt. SAC. The teams split games last season with the Lancers winning the first meeting 70-63 and the Mounties the second 69-56.

Beeman added that at least eight Division I colleges will be represented at the game, most notably Auburn, Arizona State and California-Berkeley.

The battle in the post is expected to be the key with the Mt. SAC women having their hands full with the sister tandem of Keisha Phelps and Florence Wilson.

“There will be a lot of great players on the floor, especially in the post,” Beeman added. “It’s a great chance not just for the coaches to see some good players but see them against other great players.”