NORTHEAST GLENDALE — The first loss of the season had to come sooner or later for the Glendale Community College men's basketball team.
In this case, it came a little sooner than expected.
Despite rallying from 21 points down in the second half to tie the game, the Vaqueros lost to visiting Los Angeles Pierce College, 82-77, at home on Tuesday.
Coming off back-to-back wins to open the season in the annual Vaquero Tip-off Tournament, the Vaqueros fell to 2-1.
The game was a wild one. With 11 minutes remaining in the first half, the Vaqueros held an 18-15 advantage. Pierce (1-2) then went on a 12-0 run in a three-minute span to take a 27-18 lead. The Brahmas would enter halftime up comfortably, 48-32.
"They made a bunch of shots and we missed," said Glendale Coach Brian Beauchemin. "We played horrendous defense. We gave them too many good shots, and they made their shots.
"They were on a mission to kick our ass and they did."
Pierce extended its lead to 60-39 with 13 minutes remaining in the game before the Vaqueros started their rally, scoring 13 unanswered to cut the deficit to 60-52
"Making some shots and I think just being a little bit more patient," Beauchemin said of the rally. "We broke the offense too early in the first half way too much."
After a Robert Henry three-pointer and a pair of foul shots from Shara Babakhanian, Glendale knotted the contest at 74 with a minute and a half remaining. However, Pierce scored seven straight en route to the 82-77 win.
"We didn't come out ready to play," said Glendale's Nick Rhodes, who led his team with 21 points. "We didn't play defense. We weren't hustling when we first came in. We came out too cocky."
Mike Johnson added 10 points for Glendale. Soreen Derboghosian-Pakajaki added eight points and seven rebounds for the Vaqs.
Pierce's Khiry Williams led all scorers with 28 points.
Glendale doesn't play again until Monday when it hosts San Diego Mesa at 5 p.m., giving the team six days to think about the loss.
"We didn't prepare well," Beauchemin said. "I thought we had some breakdowns. I told them we need to learn from this and we need to move on and hopefully [today's] practice and getting ready for our next game is the most important thing on their agenda."