Make it 31-0.
In its most closely contested game since December, the Thomas More women’s basketball team kept its unbeaten season alive and advanced to the NCAA Division III Final Four with an 88-72 victory over visiting Washington (Mo.) on Saturday.
The Saints’ average margin of victory this season is 39.3 points, but they led by just six going to the fourth quarter Saturday.
Three players scored at least 20 points for Thomas More — Abby Owings (26), Sydney Moss (23) and Nikki Kiernan (20). Thomas More shot 51.9 percent from the field and went 11-for-20 from three-point range, including six three-pointers by Owings and four from Moss.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Washington (Mo.) led 19-17 after one quarter, but a nine-point advantage in the second quarter gave Thomas More a 44-37 halftime lead.
Owings scored 16 points in the second half, going 4-for-4 on three-pointers. Moss committed four fouls in the second half and played just 10 minutes after the half.
Thomas More will play Amherst, a 78-50 winner over Rochester (N.Y.), in the Final Four next Saturday at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. The championship game is Monday, April 4.
Green Bay 80, Northern Kentucky 78 (2OT): In a wild, back-and-forth game, host Green Bay (27-4) got a putback by Jen Wellnitz with 0.6 seconds left to finally finish off Northern Kentucky (19-13) in the Horizon League Tournament semifinals.
The game featured game-tying three-pointers in the final seconds of regulation and the first overtime. First, NKU’s Shar’rae Davis hit a three-pointer with seven seconds left in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 58 and send it to overtime. It was Davis’ only three-pointer.
NKU led 71-68 with less than 10 seconds to play in the first overtime, but Green Bay’s Kaili Lukan tied it with a three-pointer with 8 seconds left. Likewise, it was Lukan’s only three in the game.
NKU led by as many as four in the second overtime, but two free throws by Green Bay’s Tesha Buck tied it at 78. After an empty possession by NKU, Lukan missed a jumper and Wellnitz put back the offensive rebound to send Green Bay to the Horizon League finals against Milwaukee.
Kasey Uetrecht led NKU with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Men’s finals America East
Stony Brook 80, Vermont 74: Jameel Warney scored 43 points to set an America East Tournament record and lead host Stony Brook (26-6) over Vermont (21-13) on Saturday and into the NCAA Tournament. Warney, a 6-foot-8 senior forward, was 18-for-22 from the field.
“He played out of his mind,” Vermont’s Ethan O’Day said. “He did whatever he wanted.”
No. 1 Kansas 81, No. 9 West Virginia 71: Devonte Graham matched a career-high with 27 points, Wayne Selden Jr. added 21 and top-ranked Kansas (30-4) overcame a remarkable performance by West Virginia’s Devin Williams to win the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City, Mo. Perry Ellis added 17 points for the Jayhawks, who almost certainly locked up the No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA Tournament by winning their 10th Big 12 Tournament championship. Williams, a junior forward, had a career-best 31 points and 10 rebounds, to lead West Virginia (26-8).
Seton Hall 69, No. 3 Villanova 67: Isaiah Whitehead scored 26 points, including the deciding three-point play with 18 seconds left, and Seton Hall (25-8) won the Big East Tournament for the first time in 23 years on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. Whitehead drove hard on the right side, flipped the ball in softly off the glass and was fouled. His free throw gave the Pirates a 68-67 lead over top-seeded Villanova (29-5).
Middle Tennessee 55, Old Dominion 53: Reggie Upshaw made two free throws with 2.9 seconds left to lift Middle Tennessee (24-9) to a victory over Old Dominion (22-13) in the Conference USA championship game in Birmingham, Ala. The Blue Raiders earned their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2013 and second in 27 years. It’s the program’s first league tournament title since winning in the Ohio Valley Conference in 1989.
Hampton 81, South Carolina St. 69: Reginald Johnson Jr. had 21 points and eight assists, and top-seeded Hampton (20-10) beat South Carolina State in Norfolk, Va., to win its second consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament. Hampton outscored South Carolina State (19-14) 14-2 over the final four minutes to win the MEAC championship for the sixth time.
Fresno State 68, San Diego State 63: Marvelle Harris scored 18 points to lead No. 2-seed Fresno State (25-9) to the Mountain West Tournament title in Las Vegas and its first NCAA berth since 2001. San Diego State (25-9) had a chance to tie the game with 28 seconds left, but Dakarai Allen missed the second of two free throws, and Bulldogs guard Julien Lewis made four foul shots to put the game away.
Southern 54, Jackson St. 53: Adrian Rodgers made a jump shot with 17 seconds left to lift Southern University (22-12) to a victory over Jackson State (19-15) in the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game in Houston, clinching the Jaguars’ first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2013. Tournament MVP Trelun Banks scored 19 points.
Men’s semifinals Big Ten
No. 2 Michigan State 64, No. 18 Maryland 61: Denzel Valentine had 18 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds to lead Michigan State (28-5) past Maryland (25-8) in a Big Ten Tournament semifinal in Indianapolis. The league’s player of the year sealed it with two free throws with 0.8 seconds to go. Michigan State has won 12 of 13 and will face No. 13 Purdue in Sunday’s title game.
No. 13 Purdue 76, Michigan 59: A.J. Hammons had 27 points and 11 rebounds, and No. 13 Purdue (26-7) beat bubble-team Michigan (22-12) to advance to the Big Ten Tournament championship. Hammons made 11 of 17 shots, mostly from inside.
Ferris State 100, Bellarmine 84: No. 2-seeded Bellarmine fell behind by 13 points in the first half and never recovered, losing in the first round of the NCAA Division II Tournament in Somers, Wis. George Suggs had 20 points and eight rebounds in the loss. Bellarmine (23-7) was outrebounded 40-29 and outscored at the foul line 26-15. Ferris State (23-9), which went 10-for-16 from three-point range, will play No. 6 seed Indianapolis in the second round.
Wisconsin-Parkside 74, Kentucky Wesleyan 65: Top-seeded Wisconsin-Parkside (25-5) got a game-high 22 points from Alexander Brown and eliminated visiting Kentucky Wesleyan (27-4) in the first round of the NCAA Division II Tournament. Kentucky Wesleyan was outscored 25-7 at the free-throw line and made 17 turnovers. Jordan Jacks led Kentucky Wesleyan with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Reports: Ford’s job in jeopardy
Multiple media outlets Saturday night reported that Oklahoma State was expected to fire Coach Travis Ford, a former Kentucky standout. Oklahoma State had a 12-20 record this season, including a 3-15 record in the Big 12.
In eight seasons at Oklahoma State, Ford is 155-111 overall and 63-80 in the Big 12. He coached previously at UMass, Eastern Kentucky and Campbellsville.
As a point guard at Kentucky from 1991-94 — he sat out the ’90-91 season after transferring from Missouri — Ford averaged 9.5 points and 4.3 assists. He was a two-time SEC Tournament MVP.