The St. Thomas Aquinas College men's basketball team rolled to a 71-52 victory in an East Coast Conference contest at Mercy College. The Spartans are now 8-1 overall and 1-0 in East Coast Conference play, with Mercy slipping to 1-7, 0-1.
As was the case in Saturday's victory at Staten Island, the Spartans struggled in the early going as a pair of Nakeem Hamilton free throws gave Mercy an early 11-5 lead. With the Mavericks up by a 14-8 count, STAC battled back as Sekou Cisse capped a 10-2 run to give his team an 20-19 edge. Though foul trouble played a role with four Spartans starters recording two or more fouls, STAC extended its lead to as many as seven points before settling for a 33-29 halftime advantage.
After Mercy drew to within 33-32, Grant Singleton's three-pointer put the exclamation point on a 14-4 Spartan run to take a 47-36 advantage after six minutes of play. Brandon Wilson's trey brought Mercy to within 48-42 with just over eight minutes to play, Cisse reeled off the game's next seven points to make the lead 55-42 and St. Thomas Aquinas cruised from there.
Six STAC players recorded nine or more points in the balanced effort, led by Cisse (13), Lou Griffith (13), Osbel Caraballo (12), Demetre Roberts (10), Jamar Sudan (10), and Singleton (9) setting the pace. Hamilton had the hot hand for the Mavericks, pouring in a game-high 24 points.
The Spartans continue their ECC slate with a big weekend set at Aquinas Hall, hosting Roberts Wesleyan College on Friday, December 13 at 7:30 pm, with Daemen College paying a visit on Sunday, December 15 at 3:00 pm.