The St. Thomas Aquinas College men's basketball team captured a 70-58 victory over Queens College in an East Coast Conference battle at Aquinas Hall. The Spartans have now won six straight and 14-of-15 overall, improving to 19-4 overall and moving back into a first-place tie with Bridgeport in the ECC standings at 10-1. The Knights have dropped six straight and stand at 5-13, 3-8.
After reaching the 1,000 plateau in career rebounds and eclipsing 2,000 career points in recent weeks, Justin Reyes continued to add to his impressive career, becoming the All-Time Scoring leader in ECC history. Entering the game needing just four points to tie the record, Reyes grabbed a rebound of his initial blocked shot and put it home with 3:39 left in the first half, passing the mark of 2,027 established by Roger Powers for the College of Saint Rose from 1993-97.
Prior to the historic event, the Spartans jumped to an early 10-2 lead, only to see Queens score the next ten points to grab a two point lead, with the hosts rebounding on 13-0 burst of their own. Reyes' record-breaking bucket gave STAC a 32-22 advantage, with the lead extending to 43-28 at the halftime break.
A Shaq McFarlan three made the score 50-35 with 16:21 left, but Queens held the Spartans to one field goal over a nearly six minute stretch, though the Knights were only able to cut the deficit to 53-44. Elijah Bovell's three-pointer closed the gap to 61-54 with 7:10 remaining, but Reyes followed with a jumper and Jules de Courtenay added a free throw to reestablish a 10-point margin, which was enough for STAC to cruise in the closing minutes.
James Mitchell led STAC with 17 points, McFarlan chipped in 16, Reyes recorded 14 with a game-high eight rebounds, and Chris Atkinson was game-changing on defense with eight steals. Bovell was the standout for the Knights, posting a game-high 19 points.
The Spartans won their second in their current four-game homestand, which continues Friday night when Daemen College visits Aquinas Hall for a 7:30 pm start. The set closes out on Sunday, with STAC hosting Roberts Wesleyan College at 3:00 pm, with both ECC games serving as the back end of double-headers, preceded by the women's teams squaring off.