The Santa Monica College women's basketball team will play Long Beach for sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Conference at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Santa Monica.
The Corsairs, 20-3 overall and 8-1 in Metro, are ranked third in the state by the J. C. Athletic Bureau and are tied in the Metro with Long Beach (18-6, 8-1), ranked 11th in the state. Bakersfield (9-11, 6-2) is in third place in Metro, followed by Pasadena (8-10, 4-4), El Camino (6-15, 3-6), Los Angeles City (3-12, 1-8) and Pierce (0-20, 0-8).
The Corsairs lost to Long Beach earlier this season, 56-55. Corsairs Coach Barbara Hayes blamed her team's "sluggish play" for that loss.
Long Beach Coach Donna Prindle said her team is "peaking." The Vikings are hitting 41% of their shots from the floor and 52% from the free-throw line. Long Beach is averaging 71 points a game and holding opponents to 50.
The team is led by forward Lisa Patterson (averaging 11.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.2 steals) followed by guard Kim Brown (10 points, 4 assists, 5 steals), center Kathy Parker (11 points, 5.6 rebounds) and forward Kim Montoya (10.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.1 steals).
The Corsairs' strengths are guard Gibran Bowden (19.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.2 steals), guard Valerie Vermeer (18.1 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.8 steals, 5.2 assists), forward Gisselle Bowden (Gibran's sister) (14.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.8 steals), guard Tracey Lucas (13.7 points, 5.8 steals) and forward Yvonne Tate (11 points).
Scoring 46.2% from the floor and 50.3% from the line, Santa Monica is averaging 82 points and limiting opponents to 51.9.