The St. Thomas Aquinas College women's basketball team completed a strong opening weekend with a 64-52 victory over Dominican College in the ECC/CACC Challenge at Aquinas Hall. The Lady Spartans improved to 2-0 with the sweep, dropping Dominican to 0-2. With Mercy's victory over Bloomfield in the day's other contest, squads from the East Coast Conference completed a sweep of all four games over their counterparts from the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.
Playing their second game in as many days, both teams struggled offensively in the first quarter, with STAC holding a 7-3 advantage midway through the first quarter. Dominican grabbed an 11-10 lead only to see the Lady Spartans regain the edge on a pair of free throws each by Emily Preston and Adiya Henderson before the hosts settled for a 16-13 lead through ten minutes.
Ciera Rivera drew the Chargers to within 23-19 with 6:33 left in the half, but Jenna Erickson hit a three pointer and a lay-up in quick succession as part of a 10-0 run to make the score 33-19, with a late Julia Winnick jumper extending the margin to 35-20 at halftime. STAC's gap extended to as much as 53-31 on a pair Zaria Thomas treys, and the Lady Spartans cruised from there.
Erickson led all scorers with 16 points to go with five assists. Kellyann Averill chipped in 11 points and Henderson added 10, while that pair play Preston each grabbed nine rebounds to tie for game high, part of a dominant 45-29 chasm in caroms.
The Lady Spartans return home to take on the University of New Haven on Wednesday, November 15 at Aquinas Hall. Tip time is 5:30, followed by the men's team hosting Jefferson University starting at 7:30.