The St. Thomas Aquinas College men's basketball team outlasted New York Institute of Technology for a 69-60 East Coast Conference victory. The win was the second in three games for the Spartans, who now stand at 17-5 overall and 9-3 in the ECC, with NYIT dropping to 2-19, 2-10. STAC remains in third place in the ECC, just 1.5 games behind Molloy and one game behind Daemen.
Points were hard to come by in a sluggish first half, with the Spartans holding a 7-2 lead after five minutes of play. Demetre Roberts hit a pair from the line to widen the gap to 11-3, but NYIT chipped away as Opong Bramble's jumper tied the score at 14-14 with under seven to go in the half. David Aikens hit a layup to spark a 6-0 STAC run, but Collins Onyeike sank a pair from the line with 24 seconds remaining to stake the hosts to a 26-25 edge at the break.
Demetre Roberts opened the second-half scoring to touch off a 9-0 Spartan outburst but they were unable to pull away as Bears three-pointers from Kieran Hamilton and Laurynus Stonkus both hit from deep to close the score to 40-38 midway through the half. The remainder of regulation was spent with St. Thomas Aquinas opening breathing room only to see Tech draw closer. The hosts retained hope, trailing only 64-59 in the final minute but Kam Murrell's trey with just 21 seconds on the clock season the victory.
Louis Griffith provided the spark off the bench for STAC with a game-high 17 points, with Murrell adding 15 and Sekou Cisse dominating the glass with a game-high 13 rebounds. Stonkus paced three Bears in double-figures with 13 points.
The Spartans will play four of their final six regular-season contests at home, starting this Saturday, February 9, against LIU Post. The game is the back end of a double-header with the women's team's tipping off at 1:00 pm at Aquinas Hall, followed by the men's game at approximately 3:00.