The St. Thomas Aquinas College men's basketball team pulled away late in a 95-69 East Coast Conference victory over the University of the District of Columbia at Aquinas Hall. The nationally-ranked Spartans (#18 NABC, #16 D2SIDA) have now won six straight games to improve to 11-1 overall and 3-0 in ECC play, while UDC dropped to 7-6, 0-3 with the setback.
STAC utilized a second-half outburst to break open a close affair and knocked down 15 three-pointers, the most since the Spartans also dropped 15 in a 102-76 win over Dowling College on February 27, 2016.
Demetre Roberts, Kam Murrell and Osbel Caraballo opened the scoring from deep, giving the hosts a 9-0 lead just 1:18 into play, but UDC answered with seven straight and the battle was on. Juanye Colon's three put the Firebirds on top for the first time at 14-13, touching off a sequence of 10 lead changes and three tied scores before St. Thomas Aquinas carried a 48-44 lead into halftime.
Roberts again opened the half with a three and added a layup as a 7-0 run gave the Spartans their largest lead to that point at 55-44. UDC went nearly five minutes without a field goal before Quadire Truesdale's trey cut the gap to 56-49 with 15:11 left. STAC's lead remained narrow at 61-56 but the Spartans turned up the defensive pressure and blew the game open.
A relentless, balanced attack resulted in a 20-4 outburst over the span of 6:50, opening a stunning 81-60 lead which grew to as much as a 28 point margin as St. Thomas Aquinas pulled away in the waning minutes. Murrell paced four players in double-figures with 21 points, Caraballo and Sekou Cisse added 13 each, and Roberts added 10 for STAC. Colon was impressive for the visitors hitting four threes en route to posting a game high of 24.
The Spartans hit the road on Saturday, January 5, for a non-conference tilt at the University of New Haven with tip time set for 3:00 pm. They return home for an ECC battle against New York Institute of Technology on Wednesday, January 9, as the back end of a double-header starting with women's action at 5:30.