The St. Thomas Aquinas College women's basketball team ran to a 71-52 victory over Queens College in an East Coast Conference contest at Aquinas Hall. The Lady Spartans have won three straight and five-of-six, improving to 18-3 overall, moving into sole possession of first place in the ECC with a 10-1 mark. With the loss, Queens fell to 9-10, 5-6.
STAC started a first quarter of runs with an 8-0 lead on the strength of three points each from Jenna Erickson and Adiya Henderson. Queens answered with the next eight points, tying the score on a Taliyah Hopkins bucket with 3:41 left in the first quarter. The Lady Spartans ended the session with a 17-14 lead but opened some breathing room as Julia Winnik hit a pair of threes to open a 25-14 gap. Madison Amalia hit from deep to make the score 35-23 with 2:54 left, but the hosts were held scoreless for the remainder of the quarter as the Knights drew to within 35-27 at intermission.
Though the game was far from over, STAC's stifling defense stepped up in the third quarter, keeping the visitors off the board for the first 6:42. During that span, the Lady Spartans reeled off an 11-0 run, accounting for a 47-26 advantage. Jenna Erickson capped the quarter with a three-pointer, with STAC's 17-4 dominance putting the game well in hand at 52-31. From there, the lead reached as high as 24 points as the visitors didn't threaten.
Winnik led St. Thomas Aquinas with 17 points, Erickson added 11, and Emily Preston dominated the glass with a game-high 14 rebounds. Taliyah Hopkins was a bright spot for the Knights, recording a game-high 21 points.
Tuesday's game was the second of four straight at Aquinas Hall, resuming when the Lady Spartans square off with Daemen in a 5:30 pm start on Friday. The homestand closes with Roberts Wesleyan College visiting on Sunday, with tip time set for 1:00 pm. Both are ECC contests, and will open double-header action followed by the men's teams.