AUBURN — Whether their play was spurred by not having a game for three weeks or the half-court shot that beat the buzzer to end the first quarter, the Spartans were simply out of sync.
In its first game following winter break, the Cayuga Community College women's basketball team couldn't find its groove in a 62-49 loss to Corning Community College Thursday at CCC. The loss drops the Spartans to 6-6 on the season.
It was CCC's first game since a win against Pitt-Titusville on Dec. 17.
"We were definitely out of sync, but that's no excuse though because they had the same three weeks off," Spartans coach Jim Alberici said. "It is a tough break. This isn't the first time that we've looked like this the first time back. We've got to play better."
Emily Klock (Jordan-Elbridge) finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and four blocks, Loren Clifford had nine points with six rebounds, Jasmine Walker scored nine points with five rebounds, Gabby Bell chipped in with eight points and Erica Helzer (Port Byron) added seven rebounds.
The Spartans briefly held the lead during the first quarter and were set to enter the second frame only down by two points, but the Red Barons buried a half-court 3-pointer to beat the buzzer and go ahead 20-15. CCC was outscored 16-10 in the second quarter and went into halftime trailing by 11.
"We needed to be up there in somebody's face," Alberici said of the buzzer-beater.
At times during the third quarter, the Spartans cut their deficit to eight points but never sustained enough offense to break through the barrier. CCC's deficit ballooned to 13 in the final quarter to close out the loss.
It was ultimately a tough shooting night for CCC — the Spartans' field-goal percentage dipped to 36 percent and were held to two 3-pointers, both made by Walker.
"We missed a lot of layups, turned the ball over," Alberici said. "We got off to a good start but I thought our intensity dropped and they outhustled us. They deserved the win today ... they were better than we were."
Despite the setback, CCC can move above .500 in a matchup at Fulton-Montgomery Community College on Saturday to begin a three-game week.
"We've got some things to clean up," Alberici said. "We'll get back to work on Saturday and get ready for next week. It's a big week next week with three games. We'll take a deep breath and then get back after it. They're great kids and they do work hard."