The St. Thomas Aquinas College women's basketball team earned a weekend split with a come-from-behind 67-53 East Coast Conference victory at Roberts Wesleyan College. The Spartans rebounded from Friday's setback at Daemen and end the first half in a tie for first with NYIT, standing at 17-3 overall and 8-1 in the ECC, with Roberts Wesleyan dropping to 9-10, 5-4.
Emily Preston connected on a three-point play to give STAC a 14-10 lead near the midway point of the first half, but the offense ran cold as Sara Nady's three capped an 11-0 Redhawks run, leading to a 23-18 lead after ten minutes. Both teams dug in on defense in the second, with RWC outscoring the Spartans by a narrow 9-8 margin in opening a 31-27 lead at intermission.
Neither squad scored for nearly the first two minutes of the third quarter but Julia Winnik caught fire, hitting a pair from deep and scoring eight as an 11-0 surge put the visitors on top at 42-35 with just under three minutes on the clock. Roberts Wesleyan cut the gap to 47-44 on a Taryn Wilson trey in the final minute, but the Spartans put the game away in the final 10.
Ruth Adams got the ball rolling with the first three points of the final session, and STAC allowed just one field goal in a span of nearly five minutes as an 11-2 run opened a 58-46 gap. The Redhawks only briefly got the deficit to within eight points, as strong shooting from the free throw line wrapped up the tough road win.
Winnik led all scorers with 19 points, Preston added 13 to go with 10 rebounds, and Kellyann Averill claimed a game-high 11 caroms for St. Thomas Aquinas. Emily Miller was the only player to score double-figures for RWC, leading her squad with 14 points.
The Spartans start the second half of their ECC schedule at home on Wednesday, January 30, hosting Mercy College. The twin-bill starts with women's action at 5:30 pm, followed by the men's game at approximately 7:30.