Corsair Cagers Have ‘Mission’

The Santa Monica College basketball team has “a mission” in the state community college tournament tonight at Santa Clara University.

SMC Coach John McMullen says his team is “on a mission to go back up there and do it right this time.”

Last year the Corsairs fell at Santa Clara in the opening round to Merced, 73-68. Tonight SMC (32-3), the state’s top-ranked team, will open at 5 against City College of San Francisco (25-9) at Toso Pavilion.

In today’s other games, Cerritos (28-4) will play Columbia (27-6) at 3, Chabot (26-5) will meet Mount San Jacinto (29-6) at 7 and defending state champion El Camino (23-8) will face Skyline (27-6) at 9.


If the Corsairs defeat San Francisco they will play the winner of the Cerritos-Columbia game at 6 p.m. Friday. The final will be played Saturday night.

SMC, which has won 20 consecutive games, advanced to the tournament by defeating Los Angeles City, 87-78, and Harbor, 99-77, in the Southern California playoffs.

Five Corsair sophomores who have been together for the last two years lead McMullen’s three-guard, two-forward offense: guards Von Shuler, DeShawn Pullard and Troy Batiste, swingman Keith Amerson and forward Kemo Patrick. Other regulars include sophomore forward Mark Day, sophomore guard Mike Sheehan and freshmen forwards Mark Moton and Chris Cook.

San Francisco got out to a 14-1 start before slumping in mid-season and finished third in the Golden Gate Conference. The Rams, coached by Brad Duggan, defeated Lassen, Canada and Merced in the Northern California playoffs.


San Francisco is led by all-conference sophomores Marcell Gordon, a guard who is averaging a team-high 21.4 points a game, and Jerry Macintosh, a 6-6 forward and the team’s top rebounder with 10.5 a game.

The top-ranked UCLA women’s softball team (12-1) will open Pacific 10 Conference play this weekend with home double-headers. The Bruins will play host to No. 4 California (11-4 overall, 2-0 in the Pac-10) at 1 p.m. Friday and to No. 6 Arizona (16-6) at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Sunset Canyon diamond.

Bruin freshman pitcher Tiffany Boyd is 4-0, all shutouts, and has struck out 47 batters in 26 innings. Senior third baseman Janice Parks leads UCLA with a .417 batting average.

The Santa Monica College women’s softball team will open Western State Conference play at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Bakersfield. The Corsairs will play host to El Camino at 3 p.m. Monday.

The Santa Monica College baseball team (6-10, will play host to Santa Barbara City at 2 p.m. today and play at Ventura at 1 p.m. Saturday.

The Corsairs won their Western State Conference opener last week, defeating Bakersfield, 12-6. Left fielder Troy Brown went three-for-six at the plate and leads SMC with a .400 batting average.

The No. 4 UCLA women’s gymnastics team scored an NCAA-record 195.2 points in winning its third consecutive Pac-10 championship last week at Corvallis, Ore.

The Bruins, led by Tanya Service and Kim Hamilton, set five school records in the meet, and eight UCLA gymnasts either set or tied season and career marks. Service, named conference Gymnast of the Year for a second time, finished second in the all-around competition and Hamilton was third. Oregon State’s Joy Selig won the all-around.


The No. 4 UCLA men’s gymnastics team will play host for the first John Wooden Center Invitational at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Other teams are Stanford, Cal State Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara.

Last week Bruin senior All-American David St. Pierre won both all-around competitions to lead UCLA to victories in Berkeley’s invitational and at Stanford. At Cal, St. Pierre scored a 57.15 in the all-around and set a personal record of 57.25 in the all-around at Stanford.

The No. 1 UCLA men’s tennis team (11-1 is competing in the Southern California Intercollegiate Tournament, which ends Sunday (3-12) at the Valley Hunt Club in Pasadena.

Last week the Bruins defeated San Jose State, 9-0, and No. 8 Michigan, 8-1, but junior All-American Brian Garrow, ranked fourth nationally in singles, lost for the second time this season. Garrow fell to No. 2 Dan Goldberg of Michigan, 7-6, 3-6, 6-4.

The No. 3 UCLA women’s tennis team (9-1), which finished third in last week’s Intercollegiate Tennis Coaches Assn.'s indoor tournament at Madison, Wis., will play at No. 5 USC at 1 p.m. Saturday.

In Wisconsin, the Bruins lost to Stanford, 5-1, the tournament winner, in the quarterfinals, but defeated Georgia, 5-4, Kentucky, 5-2, and Duke, 6-1. Stanford’s Tami Whitlinger handed UCLA sophomore Jessica Emmons her first loss of the season, 7-6, 9-7, 6-3.

The Santa Monica College men’s tennis team, which entered the week with an 0-3 record, will play at West Los Angeles College at 1 p.m. today.

UCLA men’s volleyball team, 16-3 overall, 10-1 in the Western Intercollegiate Volleyball Assn. and ranked No. 1 in the country, will play host to Loyola Marymount (2-8 in the WIVA) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at John Wooden Center.


In last week’s Reebok tournament, the Bruins defeated No. 9 Penn State in five games but lost to No. 5 USC in five games in the championship match.

Bruin All-American middle blocker Trevor Schirman, who had 43 kills in the two matches, and UCLA setter Matt Sonnichsen were named to the all-tournament team.

Loyola is coming off a four-game upset of No. 7 Pepperdine.

The Santa Monica College men’s volleyball team (2-3 in the Southern California Conference and overall) will play host to Pierce at 7 p.m. Friday.

Last week the Corsairs lost to Golden West in five games.

The UCLA men’s track team, two-time defending NCAA champion and winner of 38 straight dual meets, will have its first home meet of the season Saturday against Azusa Pacific and Cal State Northridge at Drake Stadium. The meet will start with field events at 1. Running starts at 2.

The UCLA women will also be in their home opener Saturday against California and Northridge. Field events start at 11:15 a.m. and running at 1:30 p.m.

Three Bruin men will compete Friday and Saturday in the NCAA Indoor Championships at Indianapolis. Junior John Knight and senior David Wilson will be in the 35-pound weight throw and junior Brian Blutreich in the discus.

In last week’s San Diego State invitational, Wilson won the hammer with a season-best 201-8 and the discus in 188-1 and was third in the shot at 59-6 1/2. Other Bruins who placed first at San Diego were Beat Ammann in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, freshman Jay Bettinger in the pole vault, freshman Kevin Williams in a section of the 100-meter dash and Chris LaQuay in the open high jump.

The Santa Monica College men’s and women’s track teams will play host for a Western State Conference quadrangular meet with Glendale, West Los Angeles and College of the Canyons at 2 p.m. Friday.

In last week’s SMC Relays, three Corsair men placed first: Ed Vega in the shot put, Derrick Davis in the 100 and James Jordan in the triple jump. Corsair Darrin Nellis had a 181-2 in the javelin and qualified for the Southern California regional meet.

The UCLA women’s basketball team (12-14 overall and 8-8 in the Pac-10) will play its last two conference games at No. 4 Stanford on Friday night and California on Saturday night.

Last week the Bruins defeated Oregon State, 77-61, and lost to Oregon, 76-60. Against Oregon State, Sandra VanEmbricqs led the Bruins with 25 points and 11 rebounds.