The St. Thomas Aquinas College women's basketball team rode a big first half to a 73-54 East Coast Conference victory over Daemen College at Aquinas Hall. The Lady Spartans have now won four straight and 6-of-7 overall to improve to 19-3 on the season, moving back into first place in the ECC with an 11-1 mark, and clinching a berth to the ECC Tournament. Daemen dropped to 9-13, 6-6 with the loss. Jenna Erickson poured in a career-high 29 points - despite not playing in the fourth quarter - to lead STAC to victory.
Lead changes punctuated the early minutes of the contest, with Daemen riding a 7-2 burst to a 14-10 advantage, capped by an Erin Egan three-pointer with 2:44 left in the first quarter. Erickson hit consecutive threes and Zaria Thomas added another in an 11-0 outburst to close the quarter, with the momentum carrying throughout the second.
Erickson added four more treys over the second ten minutes, with the Lady Spartans outscoring the Wildcats by a 20-5 margin, extending their run to 31-5 in opening a convincing 41-19 halftime chasm. The lead extended to as many as 29 points in the third quarter, with a strong finish by Daemen proving not nearly enough to draw within striking distance.
Adding to STAC's victory, Adiya Henderson contributed 10 points while Emily Preston continued her strong rebounding with a game-high nine. Sarah Saba was the only Wildcat in double-figures, leading her squad with 11 points. Erickson's 29-point performance on 12-of-16 shooting from the field topped her previous high of 28, set in a 69-68 ECC Tournament loss at University of the District of Columbia on March 2, 2016.
The Lady Spartans look for the sweep in the finale of their four-game homestand, hosting Roberts Wesleyan College in a 1:00 pm start at Aquinas Hall on Sunday, February 4. STAC will then play a "road" game against Mercy College at nearby Nyack on Wednesday, February 7 before returning to play three of their final four regular-season games at home.