Amiete Nyingifa's late field goal proved to be the difference as No. 17 El Camino College defeated No. 10 East Los Angeles College 61-60 on Friday night.
Nyingifa hit a shot from near the free-throw line to put the Warriors up 61-58 with 28 seconds left and the defense held firm to secure the win for the Warriors. Kayla Bibb led the team with 16 points and 13 rebounds with three steals while Nyingifa added 15 points and 12 boards. Makenna Peneueta scored 10 points with three assists.
The Huskies held a four-point lead with under four minutes left before Peneueta drilled a 3-pointer to cut the Warriors deficit to one at 56-55 with 3:45 left. Nyingifa then put the Warriors up after taking a pass from Peneueta and laying it in to give ECC the 57-56 advantage.
Things went back and forth from there as the Huskies got a basket on their next possession to take the lead right back and then a bucket from Bibb on a dribble-drive gave the Warriors another one-point lead at 59-58.
That is when the Warriors defense came up with its first big play in the final minutes as Bibb recorded a steal and then Nyingifa hit what would be the game-winning shot to put ECC up 61-58 with less than a minute left.
The Huskies cut if back down to one with a bucket with 28 seconds left and then forced a five-second violation to get the ball back and a chance to get the win. The Warriors defense held firm on the possession and forced a timeout by ELAC.
Play resumed with nine seconds left and the Warriors forced the Huskies to take a contested 17-foot jumper from the baseline and then Nyingifa snagged the critical rebound with one second remaining and the Warriors held on for the victory.
The Warriors will now play three straight games at home, beginning Tuesday night when they welcome Bakersfield to the ECC North Gym. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.