Winnik Fires for 20 as Women's Basketball Wins at Chaminade, 64-51

Winnik Fires for 20 as Women's Basketball Wins at Chaminade, 64-51

The St. Thomas Aquinas College women's basketball team earned a split on its trip to Hawaii with a 64-51 victory at Chaminade University. The Spartans, ranked #10 in this week's D2SIDA East Region poll, return home with an overall record of 4-1, with Chaminade coming up short in its season opener.

Both teams traded baskets early with Destiny Castro opening the biggest lead to that point as the Silverswords took a 12-9 lead midway through the first quarter. Ruth Adams followed with a three-point play and a lay-up as part of an 8-0 run over the next three minutes, putting STAC up at 17-12, and the visitors held a narrow 19-15 advantage through 10 minutes.

Adams added five more points and Julia Winnik hit one of her six three-pointers as part of a 10-2 run to start the second, giving the Spartans a 29-17 cushion. Though STAC went over seven minutes without a field goal, Madison Amalia's trey with just seconds left before intermission opened a 38-27 gap at the break.

Chaminade cut the gap to 42-36 on Ellyonna Bankofier's hoop, but Winnik hit three times from deep as STAC ended the quarter with a 14-2 outburst, essentially putting the contest out of reach at 56-38 after three quarters. From there, the Spartans' tenacious defense locked down the win, holding the hosts to just four points over the first five minutes of the final session.

Winnik shot a torrid 6-of-7 from beyond the arc to register a game-high 20 points, with Adams adding 14 and Chelsea Murphy 11. Hunter Liftee was the high-scorer for the Silverswords with 16 but it was not enough to overcome a dominant 51-30 rebounding advantage by St. Thomas Aquinas.

After their return to the mainland on Thanksgiving Day, the Spartans will not return to action until Wednesday, November 28, traveling to face Caldwell in a rematch of last season's East Regional quarter-final, won by STAC. They will be back at Aquinas Hall to host Goldey-Beacom on Saturday, December 1, in a 1:00 pm start.

(Photo credit - Texas Powers)