Tough Defense Lifts #22 Spartans to Fifth Straight Win, 66-51 over USciences

Tough Defense Lifts #22 Spartans to Fifth Straight Win, 66-51 over USciences

The St. Thomas Aquinas College men's basketball team, ranked #22 in the nation in the NABC poll, jumped in front early and cruised to a 66-51 win over University of the Sciences at Aquinas Hall. The victory was the fifth straight for the Spartans, who improved to 5-2 on the season while dropping USciences to 3-2.

Justin Reyes was on fire early, scoring STAC's first nine points - including a three-pointer - as the hosts grabbed a 9-1 advantage in the first three minutes of play. The defense continued to dominate as Chris Atkinson's lay-up staked St. Thomas Aquinas to an 18-3 lead six minutes into the action.

That margin topped out at 35-16 an another Reyes hoop before the Devils closed that half at 35-20, with Reyes posting 14 points and nine rebounds over the first 20 minutes. Zachary Rzwenicki caught fire with three treys in just over two minutes as the gap ballooned to 58-33 and the Spartans cruised from there.

Reyes closed the game with game highs of 14 points and 11 rebounds, with James Mitchell adding 10. A tenacious trio of Shaq McFarlan (nine points in 13 minutes), freshman Kevin Lynch scoring a career high nine to go with eight rebounds, and Rzwenicki's nine points off the bench, were major contributers to the team effort. Brendan Crawford set the pace for USciences with a 10-point performance.

The Spartans now have a few days to enjoy the Thanksgiving break, but will be right back in action on Sunday, November 26, traveling to Stonehill College in another big East Region match-up. On Tuesday, November 29, they hit the road to face Bloomfield College, before returing to Aquinas Hall to host last year's regional top seed LeMoyne College on December 5.