WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Thomas More Captures NCAA D-III Title

March 17, 2019

Thomas More wins women’s championship For the second night in a row, Thomas More University had a big fourth quarter. This time, it carried the Saints to the national championship. Five players scored in double figures as Thomas More defeated Bowdoin College, 81-65, in the NCAA Division III women’s basketball final at Roanoke College’s Cregger Center in Salem, Virginia. Kaela Saner led the Saints (33-0) with 20 points. Shelby Rupp added 17 points and 12 rebounds. Player of the Year Madison Temple had 17 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals. Emily Schultz chipped in 14 points and Brianna McNutt had 11 points. Bowdoin was within 64-56 with 7:25 left in the fourth quarter when Thomas More went on a 10-0 run. The Saints outscored the Polar Bears in the fourth quarter, 24-15. Saner and Temple each had four points in the run. On Friday night, in the semifinals, Thomas More outscored the University of Scranton, 24-14, in the fourth to pull away to a 69-56 victory. Abby Kelly scored 27 points to lead Bowdoin (31-2), which finished as national runner-up for the second consecutive season. Thomas More is the seventh straight Division III women’s team to win the championship with an undefeated record. The Saints also won the title in 2016 with a 33-0 mark. Their 2015 championship was vacated by the NCAA Committee on Infractions. — SCOTT WALSH