Title game is two perfect

More news about: George Fox | Thomas More
Sydney Moss broke Chelsie Schweers' record for scoring in an NCAA tournament and needed one fewer game to do it.
Photo by Steve Frommell, d3photography.com

Thomas More defeated Tufts on another record breaking night for Sydney Moss while  George Fox's full court press wore down Montclair State, setting up an national title game between two undefeated teams.

In the first semifinal, Tufts held Thomas More well below its season scoring average, but it still wasn't enough to stop the Saints from defeating the Jumbos, 62-52.

Thomas More grabbed the lead for good with an 11-0 run to close the first half, capped by seven straight points by Moss. The Saints pushed the lead to 17 midway through the second half, but the Jumbos rallied within six in the closing minutes. The Jumbos had the ball and a chance to get closer with a minute to play when Thomas More's Olivia Huber had a steal and a basket to thwart the Tufts comeback.

Moss scored 23 points, giving her 178 in five NCAA tournament games and setting a new Division III NCAA tournament record. She broke the record previously held by Christopher Newport's Chelsie Schweers who scored 174 points in six games during the 2011 NCAA tournament.

Freshman guard Abby Owings added 12 points and Olivia Huber had seven rebounds for Thomas More (32-0). Michela North had 11 points and 11 rebounds for Tufts (30-2).

Lauren Codling and George Fox shut down Montclair State for an eight minute stretch that launched the Bruins into the national championship game.
Photo by Steve Frommell, d3photography.com

In the second semifinal, George Fox used its full-court press to wear down and pull away from Montclair State, 70-58. The Bruins struggled in the first half, shotting 27 percent and 2-for-11 from three. The Bruins continued to miss short-range jump shots in the second half, but their swarming defense held Montclair State without a field goal for eight-plus minutes in a decisive 14-1 George Fox run.

George Fox shot 47 percent in the second half, including a lot of fast break layups against the Montclair State press late in the game. The Bruins outrebounded the Red Hawks by 11, outscored them in the paint by 20 and forced 21 turnovers.

Justine Benner scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for George Fox (32-0). Melissa Tobie had 13 points, six rebounds and five assists, but only played 20 minutes because of foul trouble for Montclair State (30-2).

Thomas More plays George Fox for the national championship at 7:30 pm ET on Saturday night. It is first time in the Division III tournament's 33-year history that both national finalists are undefeated. George Fox is looking for its second women's basketball national championship and Thomas More for its first, which would also be the first team title for any member of the Presidents' Athletic Conference in any NCAA sport.

Montclair State and Tufts will play in the third place game at 4 pm.