The St. Thomas Aquinas College men's basketball team won its third straight, a 77-67 victory over Jefferson University at Aquinas Hall. With their third straight win in as many home games, the Spartans improve to 3-2 while Jefferson (formerly Philadelphia University) fell to 2-4.
James Mitchell caught fire with 21 second half points en route to a career-high 28 point performance, and Justin Reyes added 19, while Yevgen Sakhinuk led three Rams in double-figures with 22 points. STAC closed the game with a 14-6 run over the final 3:30 of play to expand their two-point lead and pull away for the victory.
After a Reyes three-point play opened the scoring, the Rams ripped off a 12-0 run only to see STAC respond with an 11-0 burst of their own. That started a trend that included six lead changes and saw the game tied on seven occasions, as the hosts carried a 36-34 lead into halftime.
Mitchell served noticed that his second half was to be an impressive one by opening the scoring with a pair of three-pointers within the first 42 seconds, opening the margin to 42-34. Jamar Sudan scored from in close to open a 48-38 lead with 14:34 left, but Jefferson chipped away, with Alexander Gorton hitting four straight points as part of an 8-0 response.
STAC led at 57-50 when Reyes picked up his fourth foul and went to the bench with 8:58 to play. Prince Hickson's tip in with 5:34 left capped a 7-0 run, bringing the Rams even at 57-57. Kevin Lynch broke the tie, putting the Spartans on top with a pair of free throws but Jefferson remained close at 63-61 after Prince Hickson made two from the line with 3:30 left. With Reyes back in the game, the preseason All-American added a big jumper followed by a pair of Mitchell free throws as STAC pulled away in the closing minutes.
Mitchell shot 10-for-16 from the field including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc, as STAC shot 46% from the floor (30-66) while the visitors posted 44% (22-50). St. Thomas Aquinas took a narrow 35-34 edge in rebounding, led by freshman JR Connell with a game high of nine.
The Spartans return to action on Saturday, November 18, traveling to face Goldey-Beacom College before returning home to take on the University of the Sciences on Tuesday, November 21 in a 7:00 pm start at Aquinas Hall.