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Rob Potter | Democrat

Westchester Community College’s Jessica Biggs (11) grabs a rebound while surrounded by SCCC teammates Kunnuh Wisseh (25), Luna Jefferson and Nyoki Tate (3) in Thursday night’s Mid-Hudson Conference basketball game at SCCC’s Paul Gerry Fieldhouse.

Westchester CC defeats Lady Generals, 53-44

By Rob Potter
LOCH SHELDRAKE — November 9, 2010 — The Sullivan County Community College (SCCC) Lady Generals found themselves trailing by nine points (23-14) to Westchester Community College at halftime of their 2010-2011 basketball season opener on Thursday evening at SCCC’s Paul Gerry Fieldhouse.
In the first three minutes of the second half, the Westchester CC Lady Westcos increased their lead to 31-14. But during the next 12 minutes the Lady Generals turned up their intensity on defense, making steals and causing turnovers.
As a result, SCCC was able to rally to tie the game. Sophomore forward Taisha Sherman made a 3-pointer with 5:09 remaining to even the score at 39-39.
The Lady Westcos quickly regained the lead, however, as Janejellica Johnson swished a 3-point shot from the corner with 4:10 displayed on the clock.
Westchester CC then extended its lead in the final four minutes to record a 53-44 victory in the Mid-Hudson Conference (MHC) game.
SCCC (0-1, 0-1 MHC) closed to within two at 43-41 with 2:31 to go when Vanessa Short stole the ball and passed the ball upcourt to Destiny Harmer, who made a layup.
But Jessica Biggs answered with a 3-pointer for the Lady Westcos, which gave them a 46-41 advantage.
In the final minute, the Lady Generals were forced to commit fouls in order to save time. But the Lady Westcos made the majority of their free throws to seal the victory.
Biggs, Crystal Clarke and Johnson led a balanced offense for Westchester CC (1-0, 1-0 MHC). Biggs scored 14 points, Clarke netted 12 points and Johnson had 10 points.
“I told these ladies that every team we play is going to make a scoring run against us,” Westchester CC Coach Leon Payne said. “We had a nice lead against Sullivan tonight and they made a good run in the second half. But we were able to withstand their run and get a win.”
Payne was happy to start the season with a victory.
“We have a very young team,” he said. “Jessica Biggs and Felicia Clay are our only two sophomores coming back from last season. Four of our top six players are freshmen.”
Sherman paced the Lady Generals’ scoring attack with 14 points, while Kunnuh Wisseh and Luna Jefferson added seven points apiece.
Sonia Andrades grabbed a team-high nine rebounds for SCCC and teammate Nyoki Tate had seven rebounds.
“We couldn’t make a basket all night,” SCCC Coach Sara Thompson Tweedy said. “We took good shots, but they just wouldn’t fall.”
The Lady Generals made only 14 of their 67 shots (21 percent).
“They definitely played better in the second half,” Thompson Tweedy said of her players. “In the the first half, we had some jitters because this was the first game of the season. Three of our starting players are freshmen and they started to play better in the second half.
“Once these ladies get two or three games under their belts, you will see a lot of improvement,” Thompson Tweedy added. “I think this team will give Sullivan County a lot to be proud of this season.”
Both Thompson Tweedy and SCCC Athletic Director Chris DePew were very pleased with the large crowd that was on hand to support the Lady Generals.
“This is by far the largest crowd we have had for a women’s basketball game that wasn’t tied to a men’s game,” said DePew, referring to the fact that many of the Lady Generals’ games at Paul Gerry Fieldhouse are followed by a Generals’ game in a hoops doubleheader.

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