The St. Thomas Aquinas College women's basketball team captured a 70-55 victory over New York Institute of Technology in an East Coast Conference showdown at Aquinas Hall. The Spartans have now won four straight and 10-of-11 overall, improving to 13-2 on the season and moving into sole possession of first place in the ECC with a 4-0 mark. NYIT suffered its first conference setback of the season and slipped to 12-3, 4-1.
Melissa Sadler hit a pair of hoops as STAC scored eight straight to jump to an 8-2 advantage, but the Bears rallied to tie the score at 14-14 on a Meg Knollmeyer layup before the teams settled for an 18-18 tie through 10 minutes. The Spartans clamped down the defense in the second and Sadler scored her team's first seven points as the hosts rode an 11-0 run to a 31-20 advantage. Free throws by Chelsea Murphy and Alexa Huertas ran the gap to 35-23 at intermission.
Knollmeyer hit a pair from the line to trim the deficit to 43-35 midway through the third quarter, but Sadler struck again in the waning seconds to make the score 49-38 entering the final quarter. Emily Preston hit a three-point play and Julia Winnik tacked on a layup midway through the session as the Spartans pulled away with 63-45 gap, cruising to the finish.
Sadler was on fire with a game-high 23 points and nine rebounds while Prestion poured in 17 for STAC. Knollmeyer was the standout for the Bears, leading her team with 16 points and eight rebounds.
The Spartans return to action on Saturday, January 12, for another big ECC battle at LIU Post, with tip set for 1:30 pm. They will be back at Aquinas Hall to host Queens College on Wednesday, January 16, with double-header action at 5:30 preceding the men's game at approximately 7:30.