SPARKILL, N.Y. – Felician University could not overcome a slow offensive start in its 78-61 non-conference women's basketball loss to host St. Thomas Aquinas College on Friday evening at Aquinas Hall. The game marked the 2015-16 season opener for both schools, as well as the first contest of the two-day, four-team Spartan Conference Challenge.
Felician received 15 points from sophomore guard Shyla Osmond (New Haven, Conn.), who made four of her seven three-point field-goal attempts. Golden Falcon senior guard Eliana Scanlon (New York, N.Y.) turned in 14 points and five assists. Jenna Erickson (Melrose, N.Y.), the 2014-15 East Coast Conference Rookie of the Year, topped all players with 24 points and added five rebounds for St. Thomas Aquinas.
The Golden Falcons were held scoreless for nearly the first eight minutes of the game. Felician went 0 for 8 from the field and committed seven turnovers before freshman Kameron Stone (Bronx, N.Y.) made a jump shot with two minutes, seven seconds, left in the first quarter. But STAC had only scored nine points in that time, and the hosts ended the period with just an 11-5 lead.
Defense continued to dominate in the second quarter, as the Spartans led, 19-12, in the middle stages of the period. The hosts stretched their lead to as many as 13 points before settling for a 31-21 halftime advantage.
STAC, which never trailed, took full control in the third quarter. After a three-pointer by Felician freshman Kayla Hourany (Maspeth, N.Y.) pulled her team to within 33-27 with 6:52 to play in the stanza, the Spartans embarked on a 21-4 run over the next 5:18 of game time, with an Erickson three giving them their largest lead, 56-33. The Golden Falcons, who trailed by 20 points after the third quarter, cut a 22-point fourth-quarter deficit to 69-59 with 1:38 to play, but could not creep closer. The Spartans were 9 for 10 at the foul line in the final 1:16, and 25 for 29 for the night.
Felician committed 30 turnovers on the night, and attempted only seven foul shots. Stone posted a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds in her collegiate debut. Alyson Brennan (Hicksville, N.Y.) had 10 points and eight rebounds for STAC.
The event continues on Saturday. Felician takes on the University of the District of Columbia at 1 p.m., followed by STAC entertaining Merrimack College.