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Thomas More Men, Women Pick Up Wins

Thomas More picked up wins on Saturday on the men's and women's side.

For the men's team, the Saints moved to 5-1 in the Presidents Athletic Conference (PAC) as they beat the Golden Tornados of Geneva College 98-90. The Saints shot above 50 percent in every major category, shooting 51.8 percent from the field, including 50 percent from behind the three-point arc, and 93.9 percent from the free-throw line.

The Saints had nine players reach the scoring column once again and were led by junior center Simon Clifford , who finished with game-high 28 points, while pulling down six rebounds and dishing out three assists. Sophomore guard Damion King, who came up one rebound short of having a double-double as he finished with 19 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore guards Ryne Callahan and Brandon Horne finished the game with 14 points and 12 points respectively.

When talking to Simon Clifford after the game we asked him how important it was to get back on track after the tough loss Thursday night and he told us, “It meant everything to us. We were devastated after the loss on Thursday to Westminster and wanted to come out today to prove a point and get back on track.”

Led by Jimmy Leichliter, who finished with 26 points, the Golden Tornados had nine players reach the scoring column today. Behind Leichliter, David Oliver and Noah Damazo both finished the game with 21 points. Rounding up the scorers who finished in double-digits was Ethan Moose with 10 points.

“After Thursday night’s loss we couldn’t wait to get back onto the court so we could put it behind us and fortunately for us the schedule fell in our favor being at home,” head coach Drew Cooper said. “Our guys responded and now that we are back on the winning track we can look forward and forget about Thursday.”

The Saints will hit the hardwood again on Wednesday when they take on Waynesburg inside the Connor Convocation Center. Tip-off will be at 7:30 p.m.

On the woman's side, the Saints found themselves trailing 7-5 early but the 5/6-ranked women’s basketball team scored 20-straight points and never looked back as it defeated Geneva College, 95-39 in Crestview Hills.

With the win, the Saints remain undefeated at 13-0 overall and 6-0 in the PAC.  With the loss, the Golden Tornadoes fall to 4-9 overall and 1-5 in the PAC.

Geneva led the game 7-5 with 6:00 to play in the first quarter and the Saints responded with a 20-0 run to take build a 35-7 lead at the 6:37mark of the second quarter when junior forward Nikki Kiernan (Cold Spring/Newport Central Catholic) converted a three-point play. Thomas More never trailed after the 7-5 deficit and led 24-7 after one quarter, 45-20 at halftime, and 71-29 after three quarters.

Thomas More out-rebounded Geneva 55-19, while out-scoring the Golden Tornadoes 48-10 in the paint, 30-2 off turnovers, 25-5 in second chance points and 14-0 on fast break points. 

Senior forward Kirsten Paul (Cincinnati/Cincinnati Christian) and junior guard Abby Owings (Independence/Simon Kenton) led the team in scoring as they each scored 15 points.  Joining them in double-figures was sophomore guard Madison Temple (Cincinnati/Anderson) with 13 points and Kiernan with 11 points. Kiernan recorded her third-straight double-double with a 10 rebounds, while sophomore forward Shelby Rupp (Milan, Ind./Batesville) just missed a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds. Temple and sophomore guard Michael Ware (Newport/Newport Central Catholic) led the team in assists with eight each, while Paul led the team in steals with three.

Thomas More returns to action on Wednesday when it hosts Waynesburg University at 5:30 p.m.

-Staff report