(DANVILLE, Ky.) – Junior forward Nikki Kiernan (Cold Spring, Ky./Newport Central Catholic) scored a career-high-tying 24 points tonight (Tuesday, November 15, 2016) to lead the fourth-ranked Thomas More College women's basketball team to a 69-36 season opening win over Centre College inside Alumni Gymnasium in Danville, Kentucky.
Thomas More opened the game on a 13-1 run capped by a lay-up by first-year forward Emily Schultz (Melbourne, Ky./Bishop Brossart) with 1:55 to play in the opening quarter. Centre answered with an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 13-9 after one quarter when Lakken Miller made a three-pointer with five-seconds to play in the quarter.
Centre used an 8-5 run to open the second quarter and cut the lead to 18-17 with 5:13 to play in the quarter on a Cheyenne Bunner jumper. Undaunted, the Saints answered with an 11-0 run to extend the lead to 29-17 when junior guard Abby Owings (Independence, Ky./Simon Kenton) made two free-throws with 2:28 to play in the first half. The Colonels closed the half on a 7-3 run to cut the Saints' lead to 32-24 at halftime.
The second half was all Thomas More as the Saints out-scored Centre 33-4 in the third quarter and 14-8 in the fourth quarter to post the 69-36 victory. The Saints held a 40-18 advantage on points in the paint and 22-5 on points off turnovers.
Kiernan was joined in double-figure scoring by Owings with 14 points and sophomore guard Madison Temple (Cincinnati, Ohio/Anderson) with 13 points. Owings led the Saints on the boards with a career-high nine rebounds, while Kiernan pulled down seven boards. Kiernan led the Saints in blocks with three, while Owings led the team in assists with two and steals with five.
Thomas More returns to action on November 22 when it travels to Maryville, Tennessee to play Maryville College at 7 p.m.