The St. Thomas Aquinas College women's basketball team, ranked #21 in the nation, jumped on top early and cruised to an 82-50 East Coast Conference win over Mercy College at Aquinas Hall. The Lady Spartans, who also rank #3 in the East Region, improved to 12-1 overall and 4-0 in the ECC, with Mercy dropping to 4-10, 0-5.
Playing their first home game after going 5-1 in their last six on the road, the Lady Spartans wasted little time in jumping on top. Adiya Henderson scored on the game's first possession and Alex Bertolino added five points as STAC jumped to a 9-0 lead after just two minutes of play. That lead expanded to 17-2 midway through the half on a Missy Sadler hoop, and by the time the quarter expired, the hosts held a commanding 27-6 advantage.
Bertolino continued to set the pace in the second, with her layup expanding the lead to 41-13. Mercy's offense finally got on track with Caralie Wilson's three pointer making the score 47-26 at intermission. The Lady Spartans were never seriously challenged from there in remaining tied for first place in the conference with LIU Post.
Four STAC scorers hit for double-figures, with Bertolino netting a game-high 18 points, aided by Chelsea Murphy (14), Henderson (12) and Zaria Thomas (11). Bertolino also added eight steals and Emily Preston collected a game-high nine rebounds. Wilson led the way for the Mavericks with 15 points.
The Lady Spartans now play their next four straight on the road, starting with another ECC battle at the University of Bridgeport on Saturday, January 6. They return to Aquinas Hall on Saturday, January 20, for a double-header showdown at Aquinas Hall.