Payten Foster and Kayla Jackson provided a big spark off the bench for the South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) women’s basketball team, combining to score 25 points, and the Clippers used a strong fourth quarter to put away visiting Highline College, 57-50, in the Northwest Athletic Conference West Region opener for both squads on January 19.

Playing for the first time in a month, SPSCC (5-3 overall, 1-0 conference) got a team-high 13 points from Foster and 12 from Jackson as the Clippers improved to 4-1 at the Health & Wellness Center this season.

“You could tell we had a little rust. It definitely felt like a month (since we last played), but it feels nice to be back out on the court,” said SPSCC head coach Darah Vining. “This was the first conference game for a lot of players. So, it’s a great feeling. We’re really happy. I am really proud of the girls for fighting through and playing strong.”

Trailing 40-39 after three quarters, the Clippers opened the final frame on an 10-1 run, getting a bucket from Sharay Trotter and 3s from Jackson and Nikeshia King to kick start the offensive outburst.

“Kayla and Sharay are our leaders, and they are becoming more vocal,” Vining said. “When we called a time out (at the start of the quarter), they really spoke up in that huddle and got the girls to buy in to really go hard that fourth quarter.”

The Thunderbirds (3-6, 0-1) were able to cut the deficit to 54-50 with 2 minutes, 10 seconds remaining in the contest, but a pair of free throws from Trotter and one from Honey Let Padasdao in the final 53 seconds put the game out of reach.

The Clippers also received 9 points and 11 rebounds from Jennie Goldsberry and 8 points and a game-high 12 rebounds from Trotter.

SPSCC hits the road for its next games, beginning on January 26 at Centralia College. The Clippers play their next home game on Saturday, February 12 when they host visiting Pierce College.

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