NYIT Surge too Much for Lady Spartans, 72-61
The St. Thomas Aquinas College women's basketball team struggled in the second half and suffered a home loss to NYIT, 72-59, despite Briana Sloper's 17 points and eight rebounds. The loss was STAC's sixth straight, dropping the Lady Spartans to 7-9, 2-4 in the East Coast Conference. With the win, NYIT improves to 10-6, 4-2.
Despite the absence of All-Conference standout Cierra Baker, the visitors broke on top early, opening an 11-3 edge in the first six minutes of play. The Lady Spartans, returning to action after a week off, would find their stride, reeling off a 17-5 run of their own to grab a four-point lead. The contest would stay close for the rest of the half, with St. Thomas Aquinas entering the break with a narrow 30-27 advantage.
Neither team established much of an edge through the first eight minutes of the second frame, but Nikki Jo Rotolo would catch fire, spurring her team to a stunning 19-2 spurt over a six and a half minute span to blow the contest open at 66-48. Rotolo led all scorers with 21 points - along with her seven assists - largely on the strength of 9-for-11 shooting for the field, while her mates combined for a torrid 76% (19-25) over the final 20 minutes. Rebecca Lynch added 14 points for the victors, while Sara Oliviera chipped in with 10 points for STAC.
NYIT shot an impressive 53% from the field on the evening (31-59), while STAC was held to just 37% on 25-67 shooting. The perimeter shooting woes continued for the Lady Spartans, who were just 3-of-19 from beyond the arc, while their foes recorded 50% on 5-of-10 marksmanship. Tech won the narrow rebounding battle by a 38-37 count.
The Lady Spartans return to action for an ECC showdown at Mercy College on Saturday, January 21 in a 1 pm start before returning home to face the University of Bridgeport on Wednesday, January 25 with the action scheduled to commence at 5:30 pm at Aquinas Hall as the front end of a twin-bill with the men's teams. You can watch all the action and follow along with Live Stats by clicking the appropriate schedule links at game time.