The St. Thomas Aquinas College women's basketball team captured a 74-54 win over Mercy College in an East Coast Conference game at Aquinas Hall. The Lady Spartans, ranked #7 in the East Region, have now won six of their last seven overall and stand at 13-4 overall and 7-2 in the ECC, in a virtual tie for first place pending the outcome of Queens vs. Daemen. With the loss, Mercy fell to 2-14 overall and remained winless at 0-7 in conference play.
Both teams struggled for offense at the outset, though Kellyann Averill scored six early as her Lady Spartans held an 8-7 lead after nearly six minutes of play. With the gap at a narrow three points entering the final two minutes, Adiyah Henderson converted, followed by threes from Jenna Erickson and Chelsea Murphy, as the 8-0 run opened a 20-9 gap after one quarter.
STAC carried that momentum into the second quarter, with a 6-2 run creating breathing room at 26-11. Erickson added consecutive threes late in the quarter which created a commanding 44-22 advantage, and though Mercy trimmed three points off by halftime, the Lady Spartans were never threatened from there, leading by as many as 25 points in the fourth quarter.
Averill had a breakout game, as her 16 points and 12 rebounds represented both game- and career-highs, with Erickson adding 14 and eight assists. St. Thomas Aquinas held Mercy without a scorer in double-figures, and outrebounded the visitors by a 47-38 count, holding the Mavericks to 27% shooting (16-58) from the floor on the evening.
The Lady Spartans are in the midst of a string of four straight at home, which continues on Tuesday, January 17, when STAC hosts Assumption for a non-conference game starting at 5:30 pm.