Big Second Half Lifts Spartans Over Generals

Erica Helzer led the Spartans with 20 points in their 60-55 win over the Herkimer Generals.
Erica Helzer led the Spartans with 20 points in their 60-55 win over the Herkimer Generals.

The Cayuga Community College Women's Basketball Team closed the first half of their season with a second-half comeback to defeat the Herkimer College Generals.

The Spartans overcame a slow start to post the 60-55 victory over the Generals, improving their record to 5-3 overall and 4-2 in the region before conference play starts in January. The Dec. 10 victory marks the second time Cayuga has defeated Herkimer, with the Spartans scoring a 54-51 win to start the season in November.

"These two games with Herkimer have really been the only close games we've played so far this season, so it's been great experience heading into conference play," said Coach Jim Alberici. "Winning a game like this absolutely gives us some momentum moving into the second half of the season."

Slowed by the Generals' zone defense, the Spartans trailed 17-7 after a first quarter in which they committed 8 turnovers and missed on all 7 attempted three-point field goals.

Cayuga controlled the action in the second quarter, though, cutting the Generals' lead to just two points at halftime. The third quarter was largely even until Cayuga sophomore Erica Helzer hit a three-pointer with one second remaining to give the Spartans a 41-40 lead.

The game remained close through the fourth quarter, with Herkimer hitting its lone three-point field goal to tie the contest at one point. However, the Spartans scored 19 points in the final stanza to secure the five-point victory.

"Once we settled down and adjusted to their zone defense, we got into a rhythm of attacking the basket and taking better shots," said Alberici. "We were much more active after the first quarter, moving the ball and cutting down on the turnovers. We really played well in the fourth quarter, getting some good shots and playing great defense."

Helzer led the Spartans with 20 points, with Hanna Keyser scoring 17 and Loren Clifford adding 11 points and 6 rebounds. Payton Noeller scored all of her 8 points in the fourth quarter, including two clutch free throws to help the Spartans clinch the victory.

The Spartans resume competition in a Jan. 8 game at Genesee Community College, with conference play starting Jan. 10 with a road contest at Corning Community College.