The St. Thomas Aquinas College women's basketball team fell to a 67-58 defeat in an East Coast Conference showdown at Queens College. The Lady Spartans remain in third place in the ECC standings, just 1/2 game behind Molloy, as their record now stands at 16-9 overall and 10-5 in conference action. Queens stays in first place and has clinched at least a share of the regular season championship, imrpoving to 21-3, 14-1.
While Queens scored the game's first five points, the Lady Spartans rallied to tie the score at 9-9 on Missy Sadler's hoop with under three minutes left in the first, though McKenzie Rowland's late bucket staked the Knights to a 17-13 lead after 10 minutes.
Queens extended that gap to 26-16 with less than four minutes left in the the second, but the visitors found their stride as a Sadler hoop and a Sam Burden three spurred a 12-4 run to trim the halftime gap to 30-28.
STAC continued that momentum into the third quarter, with Jenna Erickson taking charge. The point guard accounted for all of her team's points in a 10-2 run, giving the Lady Spartans their first lead of the game at 41-36 just past the midway point of the third. The cushion would balloon to 50-39 with less than one minute left, as Kellyann Averall netted four straight point. From there, however, the game would belong to Queens.
Madison Rowland turned the game with a pair of three pointers in the final minute of the third, drawing the hosts to within 50-45. The Knights continued the charge into the fourth while STAC's offense went silent, and what would result in a 28-6 Queens run was enough to provide the comeback decision.
Erickson's 23 points was the game-high, with Averill recording 14 for STAC. The Rowland sisters were too much, as usual, leading Queens with Madison (21 points), MacKenzie (18) and Merrick (13) leading their squad.
The Lady Spartans have three games remaining in the regular season, all ECC contests. While they are in line to potentially host a tournament game, their regular season home finale will be on Wednesday, February 11, when Senior Night festivities precede a 5:00 pm tip against Daemen. STAC will then travel to Bridgeport (Sat, 2/18), and Mercy (Wed, 2/22), as they try to secure their slot in the upcoming tournament.