The St. Thomas Aquinas college men's basketball team closed out the calendar year with a 91-85 non-conference victory at Adelphi University. The Spartans, ranked #18 in the most recent NABC National Poll, have now won five straight games for the second time this season to improve to 10-1 overall, with Adelphi sliding to 6-6.
ECC Rookie of the Week Demetre Roberts hit a three-pointer and Kevin Lynch added another as STAC jumped to an 8-0 lead. After Adelphi answered with four straight points, Osbel Caraballo answered with seven straight in a 19-2 outburst, with the Spartans exploding to a 27-6 advantage seven minutes into play. The gap expanded to 30-8 just before the midway mark of the half but the Panthers clawed back to cut the margin to a manageable 45-32 by intermission.
Caraballo picked up where he left off with the first six points of the second half as part of an 8-0 run, and STAC's lead was a comfortable 71-50 midway through the second after a Kam Murrell three. A quick 14-3 run brought the hosts back within 74-65 with 6:30 left, and Jeffrey Lack's layup made the score 85-81 with 1:33 remaining. Jamar Sudan made one of two from the line with 1:03 left, and Austin Beech scored with 53 left to draw to 86-83.
Murrell made one-of-two and Conor McGuinness hit a bucket but missed the foul shot with 18 seconds left before Caraballo fittingly hit a pair - his 34th and 35th points of the game - to secure the decision. Caraballo was one of four Spartans in double-figures, joined by Murrell (14), Lynch (13) and Sekou Cisse (13). Nick Cambio led the say for Adelphi with 20.
The Spartans open the year 2019 with a return to East Coast Conference action, hosting the University of the District of Columbia on Wednesday, January 3. Double-header action at Aquinas Hall starts with the women's teams squaring off at 5:30, followed by the men's game.