Aquinas used a 19-0 run late in the third quarter to break open what had been a defensive struggle and defeat Loma Linda Academy 54-42. The home crowd was sparse as this is finals week.
Dante Thomson scored the first and last field goal of the first quarter as LLA tied Aquinas, 9-9. Chris Lawrence and Keith Stewart combined for six rebounds to keep the Roadrunners even.
Aquinas' Aubrey Addison scored five points and Branden Willison had six as the Falcons initially opened a slight lead during the second quarter. LLA answered with Chris Lawrence scoring eight points and grabbing four rebounds to again tie the game 22-22 at the half. The Roadrunners looked crisp with four assists in the period.
The third quarter again started with the Falcons jumping to a small lead and LLA running them down. About two minutes into the quarter, with the score again tied at 28, Williford hit a three pointer, stole the ball, drove for a lay in and was fouled. This sequence ignited the 19-0 run for the rest of the period as LLA could not hit on any of its jumpers. When the smoke cleared, Aquinas had a commanding 47-28 lead. Both Williford and Demetrius Overstreet finished with 9 points in the quarter.
Michael Lawrence popped in seven points and grabbed five rebounds in the final period, but this was not enough to close the margin much.
Chris Lawrence had a solid game with 12 points and eight rebounds, while his younger brother Michael finished with seven points and six rebounds. Stewart also had a solid game with six points, six rebounds and two assists. Joe Rees led LLA with eight boards for the game. Thomson finished with nine points, three steals and an assist.
The loss drops LLA to 6-7 and 2-3. They travel to Woodcrest on Thursday.