The St. Thomas Aquinas College men's basketball team dominated for a 113-71 East Coast Conference victory over Mercy College at Aquinas Hall. The victory was the third in five days for the Spartans, who improved to 13-4 on the season and 7-2 in ECC play, with Mercy falling to 2-13, 0-7. STAC's point total marked the second straight game they topped the century mark, the third this season, and the highest single-game point total dating back to at least the 2006-07 season. The Spartans are also in a virtual tie for first in the ECC standings, percentage points behind UDC at 6-1.
Jon Lawton scored five points on the Spartans' first two possessions and with tenacious defensive pressure the hosts never looked back. After STAC jumped to an 11-2 lead, Mercy showed some battle as Marko Kozul's hoop with 13:14 left in the first half made the tally 21-15.
From there, the Mavericks were held scoreless for over three minutes while St. Thomas Aquinas reeled off 10 straight points, and a total run of 21-4 created a 46-19 chasm. The barrage continued through halftime as STAC ran up a 65-29 lead, and the Spartans led by as many as 53 points down the stretch in cruising to the win.
Point production was no problem as Shaq McFarlan led five Spartans in double-figures with a game-high 24. Jon Lawton (15), Justin Reyes (14), Aaron Cust (11) and Dan Wilson (10) joined the parade as three others (Chaz Watler, Jules de Courtenay, and a returning Adam Koziol) had nine each for the night. Ryan Hickey set the pace for Mercy with 18, while Matthew Morgan chipped in 16.
Many of the post-game stat categories were surprisingly close, with STAC shooting 53% to Mercy's 47, and the visitors being outrebounded by a respectable 39-31 margin. The stat of the game, however, was turnovers, as the Spartans coughed the ball up just six times for the entire game, with forcing the Mavericks into 26, resulting in a 46-4 gap in points off TOs.
The Spartans will now have a week to recuperate before traveling south to face Philadelphia University for a big East Region match-up on Wednesday, January 18. They will then return to Aquinas Hall and ECC competition, hosting Molloy College for a showdown on Saturday, January 21, at 3:00 pm.