"We went cold," said Glendale Coach Tania Adary, whose team made just three field goals over the last three quarters of play and made just eight of 46 shots (17%) for the game. "Even Stella [Ghazarian] and Serah [Mirzaeian] were off and they scored 25 together.
"There were layups we were missing."
Ghazarian scored a game-high 15, while Mirzaeian scored 10, but it wasn't enough to overcome a Pasadena squad (10-4) that used its height advantage to literally shoot over Glendale defenders and make easy, high-percentage shots, while the Nitros made but three field goals over the span of the final three quarters.
Ghazarian sank a deep three-pointer for the first points of the game to give the Nitros (8-5) a lead they would hold tight to until late in the second period. Over the first stanza, one in which Ghazarian scored eight points, Glendale hit four of 11 shots.
But after a Mirzaeian layup opened the second-quarter scoring at the 7:32 mark and gave Glendale its largest lead of the contest at 14-7, the Nitros wouldn't make another shot from the field until Ghazarian hit a three with six seconds to go in the third quarter to cut Pasadena's advantage to 29-21.
Just as troubling as the Nitros' cold streak shooting was their similarly chilly spell on the boards.
With Glendale post Nina Sahakian, by far the Nitros' tallest player, relegated to the bench during the second quarter due to foul trouble, Pasadena outrebounded Glendale, 11-3, in the pivotal second stanza.
"We were doing OK until Nina came out and then we couldn't get a rebound," said Adary, whose leading rebounder was point guard Mirzaeian with eight.
In the second quarter, Pasadena outscored Glendale, 12-4, to turn a 12-7 first-quarter deficit for the Bulldogs into a 19-16 halftime lead.
The opening quarter saw Glendale implement a trap defense that confused and pestered Pasadena, which made just two field goals in the first eight minutes. But Sahakian's absence also hindered that.
"The trap was working," Adary said.