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Thomas More women extend winning streak to 16; King nets 23 points, leads TMC men to road victory

By Don Owen
NKyTribune reporter

A pair of streaks continued for the Thomas More College women’s basketball team Wednesday night during a 90-50 victory over Thiel College at Greenville, Pa.

Thomas More’s Nikki Kiernan scored 16 points.

The Saints extended their current winning streak to 16 games and improved to 17-1 overall, 11-0 in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference. Nikki Kiernan scored 16 points to lead four Thomas More players in double figures.

In addition, Thomas More has won 126 consecutive games against PAC foes since a 68-65 loss at Saint Vincent (Pa.) College on Jan. 14, 2012. The NCAA forced Thomas More to vacate every win during the 2014-15 season due to an eligibility issue, wiping out 20 victories against PAC schools.

Madison Temple chipped in 15 points Wednesday for Thomas More, which is ranked No. 5 nationally in the NCAA Division III poll. Abby Owings and Emily Schultz each finished with 11 points as the Saints held Thiel to just 29.1 percent shooting from the field.

Thomas More built a 46-19 halftime lead, and the advantage ballooned to 84-29 by the end of the third quarter. The Saints outscored the Tomcats 38-10 in the third quarter by shooting 72.2 percent and draining five shots from 3-point range. Temple and Owings both netted eight points in the third quarter.

Shelby Rupp grabbed eight rebounds to lead Thomas More, which finished with a 42-6 advantage in points in the paint. The Saints also forced 19 turnovers and owned a 19-8 edge in points off those miscues.

Owings dished out five assists and made a trio of 3-pointers. Kiernan and Temple each grabbed six rebounds, while Rupp added eight points on 4-for-4 shooting from the field.

Thomas More plays at Chatham (Pa.) Saturday at 1 p.m.

TMC MEN WIN ON ROAD: Damion King, who was named the PAC Player of the Week on Monday, poured in 23 points Wednesday night as the Thomas More men’s basketball team defeated Thiel, 75-61, at Greenville, Pa.

Thomas More’s Damion King

King shot 8-for-13 from the field and made four 3-pointers as the Saints won their seventh straight game and improved to 14-4 overall, 10-1 in the PAC. Thomas More is in sole possession of first place in the PAC. Thiel dropped to 5-11 overall, 3-8 in the PAC.

Thomas More trailed by as many as eight points in the first half and but rallied to take a 35-34 advantage at the break. The Saints then used a 10-0 run midway through the second half to grab a 54-47 lead after King converted a pair of free throws.

An 11-6 spurt later increased the advantage to 66-53, capped by a King 3-pointer with 4:26 left on the clock. Thomas More is unbeaten in 2018 (7-0), with its last defeat coming to Mount St. Joseph on Dec. 30.

King earned the PAC weekly honor on Monday after averaging 17.0 points, 6.0 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game last week in two Thomas More wins. The junior guard is from Winchester and graduated from George Rogers Clark High School.

Ryne Callahan added 14 points for the Saints, while Austin Young scored 13. Ralph Stone grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Thomas More and chipped in eight points. Stone also dished out a team-high five assists.

Thomas More plays at Chatham (Pa.) Saturday at 3 p.m.

NKU WOMEN MEET YSU: The Northern Kentucky University women’s basketball team plays at Youngstown State on Thursday, with the tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m.

NKU’s Kailey Coffey

NKU is 5-14 overall, 3-5 in the Horizon League. The Norse are fresh off a 61-53 overtime victory against Illinois-Chicago on Sunday, a game in which they rallied from a 19-point deficit in the third quarter to force the extra session.

The Norse outscored the Flames by a 35-10 margin in the fourth quarter and overtime period, with freshman Kailey Coffey scoring 14 of her career-high 19 points during those 15 minutes.

Youngstown State is 7-12 overall, 3-5 in the Horizon League. NKU owns a 4-2 lead in the all-time series against the Penguins.

Last season, both games went to overtime with each team winning on its home court. NKU took the first matchup, 87-81, on Jan. 7, 2017, in Highland Heights, while the Penguins claimed a 77-73 victory on Feb. 16, 2017, in Youngstown, Ohio.

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