The St. Thomas Aquinas College men's basketball team battled back for its second straight win, rallying for an 82-78 victory over Stonehill College at the STAC Tip-off Classic at Aquinas Hall. The Spartans complete their opening weekend with a perfect 2-0 record, with Stonehill slipping to 1-1.
Neither team showed ill effects from playing its second game in as many days as the Spartans and Skyhawks set a quick tempo from the outset. Brandon Twitty hit a pair of threes to give Stonehill a quick 15-8 lead, and Will Moreton's jumper opened the gap to 22-14 with 12:23 left in the first half. Louis Griffith answered from deep and Sekou Cisse followed with a hoop as part of STAC's 9-2 run to draw to within one point. Daniel Largey reeled off Stonehill's next 10 points as the gap expanded to 34-27, but Jamar Sudan's jumper sent the hosts into halftime with a two-point deficit at 46-44.
Sudan picked up where he left off after the break, as his three pointer gave STAC its first lead at 47-46 with 18:58 left. After Joel Berroa's lay-up briefly put the Skyhawks back on top, the Spartans' pressing defense took its toll, holding Stonehill off the board for over four minutes while six different players scored in a 13-0 STAC run, opening a 60-48 cushion.
Demetre Roberts added a three to open the gap to 70-55 with 9:13 left, but a 9-0 answer cut the score to 70-64 with just over seven minutes to play. Stonehill drew to within three points on a pair of occasions down the stretch, but a pair of Roberts free throws in the waning seconds sealed the victory. Sudan had a stellar afternoon with a career-high 28 points and five rebounds, and Roberts added 16. Largey was near-perfect for the Skyhawks, leading four scorers in double-figures with 23 while Twitty chipped in with 19.
The Spartans return to action on Wednesday, November 14, hosting Goldey-Beacom College for a non-conference tilt starting at 7:00 pm. They will then hit the road for a pair, traveling to nearby Dominian to face Post and the hosts at the Dominican Tournament on Saturday and Sunday.