The St. Thomas Aquinas women's basketball team opened its long-distance road trip with a 76-48 defeat at Hawaii-Pacific University. With the setback, the Spartans' season-opening winning streak came to an end, dropping them to 3-1 overall while Hawaii-Pacific improved to 1-2.
Jill Lynch's three-pointer with 2:23 left in the first quarter gave STAC a 10-6 lead, but Lauren Hippolyte's late answer capped a 7-0 run to give the Sharks a 15-10 edge after ten minutes. The Spartans went scoreless for nearly six minutes but their defense kept them within striking distance as Alexa Huertas hit a last-minute three to trim a 14-point deficit to just 28-21 at halftime.
STAC remained within seven points until the late stages of the third but HPU closed the session with a 9-3 run to carry a 48-35 gap into the final quarter. Any hopes of a comeback were stifled when the Sharks reeled off a 13-4 burst to start the fourth and never looked back in cruising to their first win of the season. Emily Preston led the way for the visitors, tying for a game-high with 17 points while Missy Sadler added 11. Samantha Lambrigtsen led four Hawaii-Pacific players in double-figures with 17 points, and the hosts held a dominant 46-31 advantage on the boards.
The Spartans will now enjoy a few days off in the Hawaiian sunshine before rounding out their trip against Chaminade on Tuesday, November 20, in a 4:00 start (Eastern time). They return to the mainland for a rematch from last year's NCAA Tournament opener with a trip to Caldwell on November 28 before returning home to meet Goldey-Beacom on Saturday, December 1.