The St. Thomas Aquinas College women's basketball team begins its quest for an ECC Championship, hosting the University of Bridgeport on Wednesday, March 1, at 7:00 pm at Aquinas Hall. Wednesday's contest is one of two in the ECC quarter-finals, with #3 STAC hosting #6 Bridgeport, and #4 Roberts Wesleyan taking on #5 New York Institute of Technology.
Wednesday's winners advance to Saturday's semi-finals, with the STAC-Bridgeport winner facing #2 seed Molloy, and top-seeded Queens awaiting the RWC-NYIT victor. Both the semis and Sunday's championship final will be held at Hubbell Gymnasium at the University of Bridgeport.
Playoff History - STAC is making its third straight ECC Tourney appearance, dropping last season's quarter-final contest at the University of the District of Columbia in a 69-68 heartbreaker. Bridgeport is making a return to post-season play, with its first appearance since the 2012-13 season.
The Match-up - The Lady Spartans (18-10, 12-6) split the regular season series with Bridgeport (15-13, 9-9), with each prevailing on its home court. STAC is led by Jenna Erickson, who is eighth in the ECC with 15.1 points per game, while Camera Miley paces the Purple Knights with 13.5 points per contest. Bridgeport comes in as the third highest scoring offense in the conference at 70.0 points per game, with the Lady Spartans allowing the fewest points per game at 56.8.
Previous Meetings - On December 15, the Lady Spartans held Bridgeport to just four first-quarter points in jumping to a 12-4 start, en route to a 57-47 victory. Erickson led all scorers with 16 points for STAC, while UB was led by Miley with 13 and Aaliyah Mercer's 11. Adiyah Henderson won an epic battle of the boards, grabbing 14 for the Lady Spartans while Evelyn Ovner pulled down 13 for the visitors.
In the rematch on February 18 in Connecticut, Bridgeport turned the tables early with a 16-7 lead after one quarter and a 38-20 halftime edge. The Lady Spartans roared back, erasing a 22-point second half deficit to grab a one-point lead in the final minute, only to see Miley's jumper with 15 ticks left secure a 62-61 Purple Knights' victory. Bridgeport's Samnell Vonleh scored a game-high 16, with Erickson adding 15 for STAC.