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Thomas More women to meet Olivet Nazarene/Union (Ky.) winner on March 13 in NAIA Tournament

NKyTribune staff

The NAIA announced the 48-team field for its women’s basketball national tournament on Thursday night, and top-ranked Thomas More will meet the winner of the Olivet Nazarene/Union (Ky.) game at 7:30 p.m. on March 13 at the Connor Convocation Center.

Thomas More is 25-1 entering the NAIA Tournament after capturing the Mid-South Conference championship. The Saints — who won three national championships while competing at the NCAA Division III level — are ranked No. 1 in the NAIA poll.

Thomas More freshman guard Maggie Jones scored 14 points during the Mid-South Conference Tournament championship game. (Photo by Jeff McCurry)

Olivet Nazarene is 17-3 and enters the NAIA Tournament with a nine-game winning streak. Union is 15-5 after dropping a 70-62 decision to Reinhardt (Ga.) in the semifinals of the Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament. Those two teams will meet at 7:30 p.m. on March 12 as part of the three-team pod playing at Crestview Hills.

The winner advances to meet host Thomas More, which received a first-round bye. Thomas More owns a 10-game winning streak going into the NAIA Tournament.

Freshman guard Maggie Jones scored 14 points and drained a pair crucial 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter as Thomas More rallied for a 56-47 victory over Campbellsville to claim the Mid-South Conference championship on Tuesday.

The 16 winners of the three-team pods will advance to Sioux City, Iowa, for the NAIA finals. The 40th annual championship takes place at the Tyson Event Center from March 18-23.

This year’s NAIA field includes 37 automatic qualifiers and 11 at-large selections. Automatic berths were given to teams that either won their respective conference tournament title, regular-season championship, finished runner-up at the conference tournament or were selected by a conference selection committee.

THOMAS MORE MEN RECEIVE NAIA TOURNAMENT BERTH: The Thomas More men’s basketball team received a berth to the NAIA Tournament as a No. 2 seed and will meet No. 3 seed Union (Ky.) on March 12 at 5 p.m. at the Connor Convocation Center.

Thomas More (16-9) earned an automatic qualifying bid by finishing as runner-up in the Mid-South Conference Tournament. Union (13-9) earned an automatic bid after winning the Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament.

Morningside (Iowa) is the top seed in the three-team pod with a 20-5 record and earned a first-round bye. The Mustangs enter the NAIA Tournament having lost two straight games. The Thomas More/Union winner takes on Morningside at noon on March 13.

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