The St. Thomas Aquinas College women's basketball team won it's fifth straight in a 71-53 East Coast Conference decision over Roberts Wesleyan College at Aquinas Hall. With the victory, the Lady Spartans improved to 20-3 overall, their highest overall win total since they totaled 21 in the 2010-11 season. STAC also reclaimed sole possession of first place in the ECC with a 12-1 record, with RWC falling to 16-7, 10-3.
Lucy Covley, the all-time leader in 3-point field goals in conference history, opened the the scoring with a pair from deep and Roberts Wesleyan quickly jumped to an 8-2 advantage. STAC's defense, among the best in the nation, clamped down, holding the Redhawks without a point for over four minutes, and an 8-0 run gave the hosts a 15-10 lead.
After settling for an 18-14 margin starting the second quarter, Erickson - who ranked second only behind Covley in all-time threes - reeled off seven straight in a 9-0 run, allowing the Lady Spartans to create some room at 27-14. Roberts Wesleyan did score the next seven straight, but a late Adiya Henderson hoop made the tally 36-23 by halftime.
Taya Andrews brought RWC to 42-36 with 3:16 to play in the third, but Erickson answered quickly with another three and closed out the quarter with a desperation three-quarter court heave to put the Lady Spartans in control at 53-42 entering the final frame. Though STAC required nearly two minutes to record their first points in the fourth quarter, the Redhawks continued to struggle against the tenacious Lady Spartans defense, and a pair of Erickson treys wrapped around one from Julia Winnick sparked a 13-1 burst to secure the win.
Erickson, who had established a new career-high with 29 points in a victory over Daemen on Friday night, topped that effort with a game-high 32 points, to go with six rebounds and five assists. Henderson had 13 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, Alex Bertolino scored 12, and Emily Preston collected 12 caroms to pace the victors. Covley led RWC in scoring with 18, all registered from beyond the arc.
The Lady Spartans, who have already clinched a berth to the ECC Women's Basketball Tournament, return to action on Wednesday, squaring off with Mercy College in a game that will be played at Nyack College. They return to Aquinas Hall to meet the University of Bridgeport on Saturday, February 10, with double-header action starting at 1:00