GCC snaps losing skid

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Already down six points less than three minutes into the game, Glendale Community College men's basketball Coach Brian Beauchemin called a full timeout before delivering a message.

During the minute-long break, Beauchemin addressed the need of moving the ball around quicker and taking selective shots to help the Vaqueros break out of their funk.

Glendale college got the pointers and then ended a season-high six-game losing skid Wednesday night with a 60-49 win against visiting Santa Monica City College in a Western State Conference South Division contest.

"We missed our first three shots [leading up to the timeout] and we needed to do a better job of turning the ball," said Beauchemin, who picked up his 557th career victory at Glendale since taking over the program in 1979. "We also did a good job of handling their defense.

"I haven't experienced too many six-game losing streaks. Give us some credit because we could have hung our heads after what's happened the last three or four games. Things have not really been going our way and sometimes that happens."

After Santa Monica (13-11, 4-5 in the division) built its early lead, Glendale (11-12, 3-7) made its stand. The Vaqueros, who split the two-game season series against the Corsairs, closed out the first half on a 27-14 run to grab a 27-20 halftime advantage.

Santa Monica, which captured the division championship last season, pulled to within 37-33 on a three-point play by Donte Bowie with 11:37 remaining in the contest. However, Glendale then used a 15-4 run in the next three minutes to raise its lead to 50-37. The big basket in that stretch came when Sammy Darling converted on a three-point play to make it 40-33 with 10:02 left.

The Vaqueros, who suffered a 97-91 road loss against the Corsairs on Jan. 14, received a team-high 16 points from Nick Rhodes and 10 points and four assists from Shara Babakhanians. Babakhanians, a Hoover High graduate, scored all of his points in the second half.

Glendale also got 12 and 10 rebounds from Marquis Brooks and Soreen Derboghosian Pakajaki, respectively.

"We were able to rebound well and they provided a wall," said Beauchemin, whose team out rebounded Santa Monica by a 38-31 margin.

Julian Wheeler led Santa Monica with a game-high 20 points.

Glendale will have its second bye of the season Saturday before closing out with a division road game against host College of the Canyons on Wednesday and visiting L.A. Valley College on Feb. 18.

"We want to keep our heads up going into these last two games and not dwell on our problems," said Beauchemin, who guided the Vaqueros to an appearance in the Southern California Regionals last season. "It's about being able to finish up strong."

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