(CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky.) – The No. 2/3-ranked Thomas More College women's basketball team fell, 74-67, to No. 15/18-ranked Hope College tonight (Saturday, March 4, 2017) in the second round of the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championships at the Connor Convocation Center in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.
With the loss, the Saints end the season at 28-1. With the win, the Flying Dutch improve to 24-4 and Christopher Newport University in the sectional semifinals next weekend.
Thomas More jumped out to an early 16-8 lead when first-year forward Emily Schultz (Melbourne, Ky./Bishop Brossart) made a lay-up with 1:37 to play in the first quarter. Hope cut the lead to 18-11 after one quarter. The Flying Dutch opened the second quarter on a 14-2 run to build a 25-20 lead with 5:37 to play in the quarter when Angelique Gaddy made one-of-two free-throws. The Saints answered with a 10-7 run to cut the lead to 32-30 when junior guard Abby Owings (Independence, Ky./Simon Kenton) made a three-pointer with 57-seconds to play in the second quarter. Hope closed out the second quarter on a 4-0 run to take a 36-30 lead at halftime when Paris Madison made a jumper at the buzzer.
The Saints opened the third quarter on an 11-8 run capped by an Owings three-pointer to cut the lead to 44-41 with 6:54 to play in the quarter. Hope responded with an 11-6 run to increase the lead to 55-47 on a Jacquelyn Schwark three-pointer with 2:13 to play in the quarter. Thomas More cut the lead to 59-54 after three quarters. The Saints opened the fourth quarter on a 9-5 run to cut the lead to 64-63 with 3:34 to play in the fourth quarter when junior forward Nikki Kiernan (Newport, Ky./Newport Central Catholic) made two free-throws. That was as close as the Saints would come as Hope closed out the game on a 10-4 run for the 74-67 victory.
Thomas More was led in scoring by sophomore guard Madison Temple (Cincinnati, Ohio/Anderson) with a game-high-tying 22 points. She was joined in double-figures by Owings with 20 points and Schultz just missed double-figures with nine points. Kiernan led the team on the boards with seven rebounds, while Temple led the team in assists with eight. Schultz led the team in blocked shots with five.