SPARKILL, N.Y. (Feb. 25, 2012) – Senior forward Jasmine Williams (Stratford, Conn.) posted game highs with 22 points and 12 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the year as the Mercy College women's basketball team dropped its season finale to East Coast Conference opponent St. Thomas Aquinas College, 70-61, on Saturday afternoon.
St. Thomas Aquinas closes out its season at 16-10 overall and 11-5 in the ECC, while Mercy ends the year with a 3-23 (3-13) mark.
The Spartans came into the game hot off a six-game winning streak and although the Mavericks shot nearly five percent better from the field, a few extra three-pointers and free throws gave STAC the edge it needed to stage a second-half rally for the win.
Mercy stormed out to a 9-0 lead and held the high-single digit margin for most of the first half until a 13-4 STAC run tied things up at 20 apiece with five minutes remaining. The Mavericks immediately pushed back up by five before trading baskets as the half wound down and going into the break up three.
The teams traded off the lead for the first six minutes with neither going up by more than two at any point, but then STAC struck the fatal blow. Led by sophomore guard Sara Oliveira (Portugal)'s four threes, the Spartans put up 15 unanswered points over a seven-minute stretch to take a commanding lead they would not relinquish. The Mavericks could not dent the margin until the final minutes, when they scored the final five points to cut the deficit back to single digits, ultimately losing by nine points.
Williams added two blocks in what was also her 12th 20-point effort, ending her career as a Maverick ranked 17th in school history in points (1,073) and eighth in blocks (46). Her 17.7 points-per-game average also ties her for ninth in a single season.
Senior point guard Simone Williams (Waldorf, Md.) flirted with a triple-double once again as she put up seven points, nine rebounds and nine assists to finish her career ranked fifth all-time in assists (430) and tied for sixth with 106 appearances, including 85 starts. Her 150 assists in 2011-12 rank sixth in the single-season records as well.
Junior wing Jessica Biggs (Nanuet, N.Y.) also scored in double-digits with 11 points, including two treys on four attempts.
Senior forward Briana Sloper (Williston Park, N.Y.) led the Spartans with 20 points, while Oliveira finished with 18. Junior guard Shpresa Liharevic (Staten Island, N.Y.) and freshman forward Ashley Motrechuk (Staten Island, N.Y.) rounded out the double-digit scorers, each netting 10, with Motrechuck also leading the team in rebounds (eight), steals (three) and blocks (two). Junior point guard Bianca Kowgios (Yonkers, N.Y.) dished out five assists as well.
The Mavericks will bid farewell to both Williams stars as well as Crasheena Ward (Danbury, Conn.) and Rachel Poccia (Larchmont, N.Y.). They will return three starters and several contributors off the bench next year in Head Coach Kelli Dunlay's fourth season.