Thomas More headed to third straight national semifinal

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Fab Four and Thomas More.

As much as that has a nice ring to it, it’s become a fixture for the women’s basketball program in Crestview Hills.

The No. 1 seeded Saints advanced in the NAIA Women’s Basketball National Championship with a 66-62 victory over No. 3 seed Montana Western on Wednesday night. The win gets them to Friday’s semifinals as they’ll face No. 1 seed Central Methodist on Friday at 7 p.m. EST in Sioux City, Iowa.

The win gets Thomas More to 30-3 as they’re now two wins away from repeating as national champs.

Alex Smith led the way in the contest with 24 points and pulled down five rebounds. Emily Simon added 13 points, four rebounds and four assists while Zoie Barth notched a double-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds and also dished out seven assists.

It was a hot start for the Saints, an 11-0 run after surrendering the first two points helping them to a 19-14 end of first quarter lead. After Montana Western tied things up at 22, the Saints ended the first half on a 6-2 run to take a 28-24 lead into the break.

Montana Western took their first lead since it was 2-0 when they jumped up 32-30 with 6:36 left in the third, but a 10-3 run that was spurted by a Simon 3-point play got Thomas More back in control at 40-35 with 4:28 to play in the quarter after a Zoie Barth jumper.

Thomas More would take a 45-42 lead into the fourth, Montana Western regaining advantage at 51-50 with 6:59 left in the game. Simon followed with two free throws and the Saints never let the lead slip from there, Smith’s jumper with a minute to play essentially sealing the deal making it 63-56.

Related:  Thomas More headed to third straight national title game

The Saints were 36.8% (21-57) from the field, 35.3% (11-31) from the 3-point line, and 81.3% (13-16) from the free throw line.

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