Senior All-America center Kaitlin Langer had 15 points and seven rebounds and started a game-closing 17-4 run over the final 9:00 as the No. 2-ranked Tommies held off unranked Marymount (Va.), 62-55, in Friday night's NCAA Division III women's basketball tournament game at UST's Schoenecker Arena.
St. Thomas (30-0), which improved to 16-0 at home, reached the Elite 8 round of the 64-team tournament for the third time in six seasons. Coach Ruth Sinn's team has won 46 of its last 47 games since January 2016.
UST plays No. 16-ranked Whitman (Wash.) (26-4) in Saturday's 7 p.m. clash with a berth in the national semifinals on the line. Whitman pulled away in the closing minutes to eliminate once-beaten No. 7-ranked Trinity (Tex.), 69-59.
Marymount used a 12-0 run, highlighted by a half-court 3-point basket by Leah Hurst, to close the third period, to take a 51-45 lead. That was St. Thomas' largest fourth-quarter deficit of the season .
Langer scored the first five points of a 10-0 run that put the Toms ahead to stay at 55-51. The Saints managed just one field goal in 11 shots over that final 9:00 stretch.
The Saints pulled within 57-54 but Paige Gernes nailed a trey with 1:11 to play to extend the lead to six points. Gernes had made just 11 3-point baskets in her first 86 career games but was 3-for-3 beyond the arc Friday night and is 5-of-5 in three NCAA playoff games.
Hannah Spaulding had eight points and six rebounds in the second half and helped UST post a 10-4 edge in bench scoring. Lauren Fischer scored 11 points, Lucia Renikoff added 10, Gernes scored nine, and Gabby Zehrer scored seven for St. Thomas.
Kiki Laux had 14 points and eight boards for the Saints.