The St. Thomas Aquinas College men's basketball team had its six-game winning streak snapped in a 73-66 East Coast Conference loss to Daemen College at Aquinas Hall. The Spartans slipped to 19-5 overall and 10-2 in ECC play, with Daemen improving to 15-7, 9-3.
Daemen led for much of the early portion of the game, opening an 18-13 edge on a Darius Garvin hoop with 12:32 remaining in the first half. Jamar Sudan answered with a three-pointer and James Mitchell tied the game with a layup, with a pair of Shaq McFarlan free throws capping a 13-2 run to give the Spartans a 26-20 lead with 7:50 left before intermission. A Justin Reyes dunk put the hosts up by four before a pair of Breon Harris free throws trimmed the score to 34-32 at halftime.
Jeff Redband opened the second half scoring with a pair of three pointers to swing the advantage back to the Wildcats, but STAC reclaimed the lead midway through the half on another McFarlan bucket to make the score 49-47. After a Reyes field goal gave the Spartans a 53-51 advantage with 7:07 left, the visitors rallied to a 10-0 run over a three-minute span to grab the lead for good. A late trey by Mitchell brought STAC to within 70-66, but Daemen closed out the victory from the free throw line.
Reyes led all scorers with 20 points and collected a game-high 10 rebounds, with McFarlan adding 15 for STAC. The Wildcats' balanced attack was led by four scorers in double-figures, with Garvin and Redband recording 15 each while Andrew Sischo and Breon Harris posted 14 each. Though STAC turned the ball over just nine times on the evening, they were hampered by 4-of-22 shooting from beyond the arc.
The Spartans close out their current four-game home stretch on Sunday, February 4, hosting Roberts Wesleyan College in an East Coast Conference battle. That game is the back end of double-header action, with the women's teams squaring off starting at 1:00 pm.