The St. Thomas Aquinas College women's basketball team closed out the regular season with a decisive 66-21 East Coast Conference victory over Mercy College. The Lady Spartans are now 18-10 overall and 12-6 in conference action, with Mercy falling to 4-21, 2-15.
STAC, which has secured a bid to the ECC Tournament, is off on Saturday and must await other conference results to determine their playoff status. At present, the Lady Spartans are in second place, one-half game ahead of Molloy College, which plays LIU Post on Saturday. If Molloy loses, STAC is the #2 seed and earns a bye to the ECC Semi-finals on Saturday, March 4, at the University of Bridgeport. If Molloy wins, STAC slips to the #3 seed and hosts an opening round game on Wednesday, March 1 at 7:00 pm at Aquinas Hall, with opponent to be determined.
Though St. Thomas Aquinas registered just 13 first quarter points, the defense was the story as the hosts recorded just one basket at the 8:08 mark. Mercy went over 12 minutes between field goals, sinking only a pair of free throws in an 18-2 STAC run, capped by Chelsea Murphy's three pointer. Julia Winnik nailed three three-pointers as the Lady Spartans' offense got in gear late in the second, opening a stunning 34-6 lead at halftime.
Mercy did not hit the double-figure mark in scoring until a pair of Casey Sullivan foul shots with 5:02 left in the third quarter made the score 48-10, by which time the final result was in little doubt, with STAC proceeding to hold the Mavericks under ten points in each of the four quarters.
In all, 11 different players hit the scoresheet for STAC, with Jenna Erickson leading the way with 13, Winnik adding 12, and Lauren Melville posting a career-high 10. The Lady Spartans also dominated the glass to the tune of a 54-27 rebounding edge, with Kacey Burden leading the way with nine caroms and Missy Sadler collecting eight.
To follow ECC Women's Basketball scores and standings, click here, and for the latest in ECC Tournament match-ups and schedule, visit ECCsports.org and stacathletics.com.