The top-ranked and top-seeded Thomas More University women’s basketball team advanced to the NAIA Women’s Basketball National Championship game as it defeated seventh-ranked and fifth-seeded Morningside College, 65-62, tonight (Monday, March 22, 2021) in a national semifinal game at the Tyson Event Center in Sioux City, Iowa.

FIRST HALF:

  • Thomas More took a 17-11 after one quarter of play.
  • The Saints opened the second quarter on a 13-3 run to build a 30-14 lead with 3:56 to play in the quarter when sophomore guard Courtney Hurst (Burlington, Ky./Conner) made a jumper.
  • Morningside responded with a 13-3 run to cut the lead to 33-27 when Sophia Peppers made a three-pointer with 46-seconds to play in the second quarter.
  • Junior guard Taylor Clos (Alexandria, Ky./Campbell County) made a three-point with eight seconds to play in the second quarter to give Thomas More a 36-27 lead at halftime.
  • Thomas More shot 44.1 percent (15-of-34) from the field, while holding Morningside to 28.1 percent (nine-of-32) shooting.
  • The Saints out-rebounded the Mustangs 22-15 in the opening 20 minutes.
  • Clos led the Saints in scoring in the first half with nine points.
  • Sophomore guard Zoie Barth (Fort Thomas, Ky./Highlands) led the team on the boards with nine rebounds, while dishing out five assists.
  • Sophomore guard Emily Simon (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) had eight points, three rebounds and one assist.
  • Sophomore guard Summer Secrist (Taylor Mill, Ky./Scott) added six points and one assist.

SECOND HALF:

  • Thomas More opened the third quarter on a 5-0 run to extend the lead to 41-27 when senior guard Briana McNutt (Maysville, Ky./Mason County) made a jumper with 8:08 to play in the quarter.
  • Morningside answered with a 15-2 run capped by a three-pointer by Sierra Mitchell to cut the Saints’ lead to 43-42 with 5:16 to play in the third quarter.
  • The Saints used a 5-0 win to extend the lead to 48-42 when Secrist made jumper with 3:25 to play in the third quarter.
  • The Mustangs closed out the half on an 8-3 run to cut the lead to 51-50 after three quarter when Mitchell made a three-pointer at the buzzer.
  • McKenna Sims made a three-pointer to open the fourth quarter and give Morningside a 53-51 lead with 9:48 to play in the game.
  • Graduate forward Alexah Chrisman (Greendale, Ind./McAuley (Ohio)) made a lay-up with 1:18 to cap a 14-6 to give Thomas More a 65-59.
  • Morningside scored the final three points of the game, but it wasn’t enough as Thomas More posted the 65-62 victory.
  • Thomas More shot 39.3 percent (11-of-28) from the field in the second half.
  • Barth had seven points, five rebounds and two assists in the second half.
  • McNutt added seven points in the half.
  • Chrisman had five points and three rebounds.
  • Clos had five points in the half.

NOTABLES:

  • Thomas More improves to 29-1 and advances to the national championship game.
  • The Mustangs end the season at 29-3.
  • The Saints shot 41.9 percent (26-of-62) from the field, while holding the Mustangs to 31.1 percent (19-of-61) shooting.
  • Clos led the team in scoring with 14 points, while dishing out five assists and pulling down two rebounds.
  • Simon finished with 11 points, three rebounds, two assists and one steal.
  • Barth pull down a game-high 14 rebounds and dished out a game-high seven assists, while scoring seven points and recording three steals.
  • McNutt had nine points, three rebounds, one assist, one block and two steals.
  • Secrist had eight points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal.
  • Chrisman finished with eight points, four rebounds and one block.

UP NEXT:

  • The Saints will play the winner of the second semifinal game tonight between fourth-ranked and second-seeded Westmont (Calif.) College and 20th-ranked and 11th-seeded Indiana Wesleyan University in the National Championship Game on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Central/8 p.m. Eastern at the Tyson Event Center.

Cory Blackson

Assistant Athletic Director – Compliance and Communication

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