(CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky.) – The No. 2/4-ranked and top-seeded Thomas More College women's basketball team won the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Championship Tournament today (Saturday, February 25, 2017) as it defeated third-seeded Saint Vincent College, 66-53, in the championship game at the Connor Convocation Center in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.
With the win, the Saints improve to 27-0 and earn the PAC automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament. The NCAA Division III Championship bracket will be announced on Monday (February 27) on the NCAA Championship website (www.ncaa.com) at 2:30 p.m. With the loss, the Bearcats fall to 18-10.
Thomas More jumped out to a 12-3 lead when junior forward Nikki Kiernan (Cold Springs, Ky./Newport Central Catholic) hade a three-pointer with 7:47 to play in the first quarter. Saint Vincent answered with a 12-4 run capped by a Kayla Slovenec jumper with 3:09 to play in the opening quarter to cut the lead to 16-15. The Saints closed out the first quarter on a 6-2 run to take a 22-17 lead at the end of the quarter when first-year forward Emily Schultz (Melbourne, Ky./Bishop Brossart) made lay-up with 32-seconds to play in the quarter. The Saints out-scored the Bearcats 16-8 in the second quarter to build a 38-25 lead at halftime.
The Saints used a 14-11 advantage in the third quarter to increase the lead to 52-36 after three quarters. The Bearcats cut the lead to 11 points with 1:57 to play in the game, but that was as close as they would come as Thomas More won the championship game 66-53.
Thomas More held a 30-12 advantage in the paint and 15-3 on second chance points. The Saints' defense held Saint Vincent to 28.1 percent (16-of-57) shooting from the field.
Junior guard Abby Owings (Independence, Ky./Simon Kenton) led the Saints in scoring with 15 points. Just missing double-figures in scoring was sophomore guard Madison Temple (Cincinnati, Ohio/Cincinnati Christian) with nine points and senior forward Kirsten Paul (Cincinnati, Ohio/Cincinnati Christian) and Kiernan with eight points each. Temple led the team on the boards with 12 points, assists with four and steals with three. Sophomore forward Shelby Rupp (Milan, Ind./Batesville) pulled down 10 rebounds.