The St. Thomas Aquinas College women's basketball team dropped a 59-55 contest in an East Region battle against the University of the Sciences at Aquinas Hall. The Spartans drop to 10-3 with the loss, while USciences improved to an identical 10-3 mark.
With both teams playing their first game after the holiday break, the first quarter was evenly played with several lead changes before USciences settled for a 13-11 edge after 10 minutes. After Irisa Ye's layup opened the Devils' lead to 17-13, STAC responded with an 8-0 run as four different players combined to give the hosts a 21-17 advantage. The visitors proceeded to reel off the next 10 points and carried 31-25 lead into halftime.
Though the Spartans drew two within two points on two occasions, the offense was held without a point for a five-minute span in the third, though STAC's defense stepped up as well to keep the affair close at 38-31 with under three minutes left. The hosts entered the final frame at a 42-37 deficit but Ruth Adams reeled off four straight points to close the gap to 49-48 midway through the quarter.
After a scoring exchange left the tally at 53-50, both defenses clamped down with the score remaining unchanged for over two and a half minutes - including four missed free throws by the Spartans. That string was broken by a big layup by Ye with 1:17 left and while a late three-pointer from Zaria Thomas give St. Thomas Aquinas a pulse, they were unable to pull off the victory.
Missy Sadler and Adams had 14 points each and Emily Preston added 10 for STAC, while Ye led all scorers with 21 for USciences.
The Spartans return to action on Wednesday, January 8, for another big regional showdown as the University of New Haven visits Aquinas Hall. Tip-off is set for 5:30 pm as the front end of double-header action, with the men's squads squaring off at approximately 7:30.