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.