Back to Back: Saints Win 66 in a Row, Second Straight Title
The 66th consecutive victory for the Thomas More Saints women's basketball team was also its second straight NCAA Division III national championship.
The #1-ranked Saints beat #7 Tufts, 63-51, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Monday night.
Thomas More finished the season 33-0.
Tufts (28-4) led 17-11 after one quarter, but the Saints out-scored the Jumbos, 21-9 in the second half to take a 32-26 lead at halftime. Tufts had a 16-15 scoring advantage in the third quarter to cut the lead to 47-42 after three quarters. Thomas More would then out-score Tufts 16-9 in the fourth quarter to win the game 63-51 and capture its back-to-back titles.
Thomas More had a 30-20 advantage in points in the paint, 20-10 in second chance points and 7-0 in fast break points.
Sophomore guard Abby Owings (Simon Kenton) led all scorers with 17 points. Three other Saints just missed having a double-double as senior guard/forward Sydney Moss (Boone County) had 14 points and nine rebounds, sophomore forward Nikki Kiernan (Newport Central Catholic) had 13 points and nine rebounds and freshman guard Madison Temple had 10 points and nine rebounds.
Moss was named the Tournament's Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Owings was named to the All-Tournament Team.
Junior guard Kelly McDonald (Cincinnati Sycamore) won the Elite 90 award, which is presented to the student-athlete in the championship game who has the highest grade point average.
Head Coach Jeff Hans becomes only the third Division III women's basketball coach to win back-to-back national titles joining Washington University in St. Louis' Nancy Fahey and Capital University's Dixie Jeffers in the exclusive club.
Photo via TMC