(CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky.) – The No. 1-ranked Thomas More College women's basketball team is returning to its second-straight NCAA Division III National Semifinals as it defeated No. 10-ranked Washington University in St. Louis , 88-72, tonight (Saturday, March 12, 2016) in a sectional final game at the Connor Convocation Center in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.
With the win, the Saints improve to 31-0 and will play No. 4-ranked Amherst College on Saturday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. inside The Capital Center on the Capital University campus in Columbus, Ohio. Fan are encouraged to order tickets on-line at www.capital.edu/ncaad3semifinaltickets. With the loss, the Bears end the season at 23-6.
Thomas More jumped out to a 5-2 lead when senior guard/forward Sydney Moss (St. Albans, W.Va./Boone County (Ky.)) made a three-pointer with 7:58 to play in the first quarter. WashU answered with a 15-5 run to build a 17-10 lead on a Zoe Vernon three-pointer with 3:59 to play in the opening quarter. Thomas More closed out the quarter on a 7-2 run to cut the lead to 19-17 after one quarter.
The Saints opened the second quarter on a 25-12 run to take a 42-31 lead with 2:29 to play in the quarter when freshman guard Madison Temple (Cincinnati, Ohio/Anderson) made two free-throws. The Bears closed out the second quarter on a 6-2 run to cut the lead to 44-37 at halftime.
Thomas More opened the third quarter on a 9-1 run to extend the lead to 53-38 when sophomore forward Nikki Kiernan (Cold Springs, Ky./Newport Central Catholic) made two free-throws. WashU responded with an 18-9 run to close out the quarter and cut the Saints' lead to 62-56 after three quarters.
The Saints out-scored the Bears 26-16 in the fourth quarter to roll to cruise to the 88-72 victory.
Thomas More shot 51.9 percent (28-of-54) from the field, including 55.0 percent (11-of-20) from behind the three-point arc. The Saints were a perfect 21-for-21 from the free-throw line. Thomas More had a 28-18 advantage in points in the paint and 15-8 off turnovers.
Sophomore guard Abby Owings (Independence, Ky./Simon Kenton) led the team in scoring with a game-high 26 points. She was joined in double-figure scoring by Moss with 23 points and Kiernan with 20 points. Moss finished with a double-double as she pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds. Temple led the team in assists with six, while Kiernan led the team in blocks with two and steals with two.