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Spartans Win Behind Defense, Clutch Free Throws

Avrey Colton had nine points, nine rebounds and three assists for the Spartans on Sunday.
Avrey Colton had nine points, nine rebounds and three assists for the Spartans on Sunday.

Cayuga Community College earned a road victory over Corning Community College thanks to a strong defensive performance and clutch free throws by Haley Mosch and Avrey Colton on Sunday.

The Spartans led for most of the game, but struggled on offense in the final quarter before Mosch and Colton connected on six straight free throws in the final minute to give Cayuga a 45-40 win. The Spartans also defeated Corning earlier this season, and are now 6-9 overall and 4-5 in conference play.

Coach Jim Alberici said the team's defensive effort was outstanding and helped them overcome turnovers and a challenging day shooting the ball from the field.

"We've played good defense most of the season, and that came through again today. Offensively, we moved the ball really well but missed some shots we usually make," said Alberici. "We showed great composure late in the game, particularly with those foul shots in the final minute."

Both defenses dominated throughout the game, but the Spartans built a small lead in the first quarter behind Colton's three-point buzzer-beater. Cayuga held the Red Barons at bay for much of the second quarter, but a late run by Corning cut Cayuga's lead to 23-18 at halftime.

The Spartans led by eight entering the fourth quarter, but the Red Barons started on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to one. Cayuga's Lexi Alberici sank a three-pointer to break the run, but the rest of Cayuga's offense in the quarter came on free throws. Colton sank two free throws with 22 seconds left to put Cayuga ahead 41-37, only for Corning to sink a three-pointer but miss the and-one free throw, narrowing the lead to 41-40. Mosch sank four foul shots in the final 17 seconds to ice the game for the Spartans.

Mosch led Cayuga with 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Colton had nine points, nine rebounds and three assists. Lexi Alberici added nine points, and Maddy Weed led the Spartans with five steals.

Cayuga is back home Wednesday, Jan. 24, to host Genesee Community College. The Spartans defeated the Cougars on the road earlier this season. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.