The St. Thomas Aquinas College men's basketball team, ranked #16 in the nation, won its 8th straight game, pulling away for a 73-52 East Coast Conference win over LIU Post at Aquinas Hall. The Spartans are now 18-4 overall and increase their lead over idle Bridgeport in the conference standings at 10-2, with the victory clinching the program's fourth consecutive ECC Tournament bid in defense of last year's championship. With the loss, Post falls to 5-16, 4-7.
A sluggish start resulted in a 2-2 deadlock after four minutes of play, and Greg Dotson's trey gave the Pioneers a 5-2 lead. STAC posted just a lone Chaz Watler field goal over nearly the first seven minutes of play, but Post was unable to capitalize and the Spartans grabbed a 13-9 lead spurred by treys from Justin Reyes and Adam Koziol.
Post reclaimed the lead with a 9-0 run, but the lead changed hands until the hosts settled for a narrow 29-28 advantage at the intermission. Another Dotson three brought the visitors to within 34-33 at the 17:51 mark, but the Spartans held Post without a field goal for over seven minutes, and the resulting 19-2 run opened a 53-35 lead that would not be challenged.
Aaron Cust continued to wield the hot hand, leading four Spartans in double-figures with 19 points. Reyes (15), Watler (14), and Shaq McFarlan (13), all chipped in as Dotson carried the load for LIU Post with a game-high 20 points. STAC turned the ball over just 11 times on the evening, compared to 23 for the Pioneers.
The Spartans return to action this Saturday, February 4, hosting the University of the District of Columbia for an ECC showdown. The action at Aquinas Hall starts at approximately 3:00 pm, as the back end of a double-header featuring the women's teams starting at 1:00.