The St. Thomas Aquinas College women's basketball team cruised to an 84-43 East Coast Conference victory over Mercy College in a game played at Nyack. The Lady Spartans now stand at 21-3 overall, matching the single-season record for most wins in the 10-year tenure of Head Coach Kim Lusk. They also moved back into sole possession of first place in the ECC and have clinched a slot in the top four with a 13-1 record, needing just two wins to secure a bye into the conference tournament semi-finals. With the loss, Mercy fell to 6-17, 2-12.
Jenna Erickson scored in the game's opening seconds but offense was hard to come by thereafter. Erickson accounted for all of the contest's points at the midway point in the first quarter as STAC held a 4-0 lead, but Mercy answered with the next five, taking the lead on a Casey Sullivan three-pointer with 3:50 left in the session. Erickson quickly answered with a trey and Julia Winnick added another as the Lady Spartans closed the quarter with a 15-0 run to take a 19-5 lead.
STAC's stifling defense continued into the second quarter, holding the Mavericks scoreless for the first 4:18, extending their overall outburst to 24 straight points, and a 28-5 chasm. Though Mercy showed some life with a 6-0 run, the visitors cruised into halftime with a 39-16 cushion, and there was no drop in production from the Lady Spartans' depth players, as Madison Amalia and Zaria Thomas converted from deep to increase the lead through the final horn.
Erickson led all scorers with 19 points in just 18 minutes of play, with Amalia and Thomas adding 12 and 11 off the bench respectively. Missy Sadler recorded nine points, Jillian Lynch chipped in seven, and Emily Preston dished out seven assists while grabbing seven rebounds. Monet Keane-Dawes paced the hosts with nine points.
The Lady Spartans, ranked #5 in this week's D2SIDA East Region poll, play three of their final four regular-season games at Aquinas Hall, starting on Saturday, February 10, when Bridgeport visits for a 1:00 pm start. NYIT pays a call on Wednesday, February 14, then STAC visits LIU Post for a big ECC showdown on Saturday, February 17. They close out the home campaign against the University of the District of Columbia on Saturday, February 24.