Late Hoop Foils Spartans' Comeback in 65-63 Loss at Southern Connecticut

Late Hoop Foils Spartans' Comeback in 65-63 Loss at Southern Connecticut

The St. Thomas Aquinas College women's basketball team fell to a 65-63 defeat in a non-conference contest at Southern Connecticut State University. The Spartans fall to 9-2 overall with SCSU improving to 7-4 on the season.

Keeping with their recent trend, the Spartans bolted from the gate, reeling off 13 straight points from five different players to claim a 13-3 lead late in the first quarter, though Southern Connecticut trimmed the gap to 13-8 after one quarter. The Owls caught fire from deep with five three-pointers in the second quarter, briefly regaining the lead before Missy Sadler hit a pair of free throws to give STAC a narrow 33-31 edge at intermission.

Once again, perimeter shooting was on target for the hosts as a pair of treys by Alexa Kellner staked the Owls to a 52-48 advantage heading into the final stanza. A Ruth Adams jumper pulled the Spartans to within 52-50, but Southern ripped off the next eight points, extending their cushion to 60-50 with five minutes to play.

Adams hit a jumper to snap a four-minute scoreless streak by STAC, and Emily Preston and Zaria Thomas followed to cut the margin to 60-56 with 2:30 remaining. After an exchange of baskets, Kellyann Averill trimmed the gap to 62-60 with just 42 seconds left on the clock. SCSU came up empty on the next trip and Zaria Thomas hit one-of-two from the line to make it a one-point game, and after a turnover Adams scored on a feed from Sarah Scerbak to give the Spartans a 63-62 edge with 11 seconds left.

After a timeout, Wheeler sent a cross-court pass to Ednaija Lassiter, who connected for the Owls' 15th three-pointer of the afternoon to put her team back on top. St. Thomas Aquinas called time and inbounded from midcourt with five seconds left but were unable to get a shot off as time expired. Adams led the way for STAC with 17 points while Thomas added 11, and Jessica Fressle paced SCSU with a game-high 20 points.

The Spartans return to East Coast Conference action and wrap up the 2019 portion of their schedule at Mercy College on Saturday, December 21 at noon. They begin the new year with five of six at home, starting on January 3 against the University of the Sciences with tip time scheduled for 5:30 pm.