The St. Thomas Aquinas College women's basketball team opened the 2019-20 season with a convincing 87-51 victory over American International College in the STAC Conference Challenge at Aquinas Hall. Zaria Thomas poured in a game high 17 points, including five three pointers, to lead the Spartans to victory.
Kellyann Averill scored the first six points of the evening - including a lay-up just seconds after the opening tip - and Emily Preston hit a three-pointer to cap a 13-0 STAC outburst over the first 4:14 of play. By the time Ruth Adams closed out the scoring, the hosts held a 23-8 cushion through 10 minutes.
While the Spartans failed to score over a span in excess of three minutes covering the end of the first and start of the second, Alexa Huertas scored from deep to keep the lead at 26-12 on the way to maintaining that 15-point advantage at halftime, 38-23. STAC's trademark stifling defence held the Yellow Jackets to just one basket over the first four minutes of the third quarter, with a 15-2 explosion putting the game out of reach at 53-25.
With a commanding lead, the Spartans were able to go deep into their rotation, with 12 different players hitting the scoresheet and all 13 in uniform playing seven minutes or more. Thomas needed just 22 minutes of floor time to post her 17 points, while newcomer Taniesha Gilbert was impressive off the bench with 12 points in 12 minutes. Kayla Robinson led the way for AIC with nine points.
Action continues tomorrow in the Conference Challenge starting at 3:00 pm on Saturday, November 8, as AIC takes on the University of the District of Columbia, while St. Thomas Aquinas squares off with local rival Dominican College starting at approximately 5:00 pm. In late action Friday night, Dominican rallied from a halftime deficit to claim a 76-69 win.