Patriots end George Fox's run

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Alex Kochner scored eight points in overtime as Texas-Tyler ended George Fox's hopes of returning to the national championship game.
St. Thomas athletics photo by Gene McGivern

The final eight teams in the 2016 Division III women's basketball tournament will include two teams from the UAA, two teams from the NESCAC and only two undefeated teams, after Texas-Tyler ousted George Fox.

D’Onna Matthews hit a baseline jumper with 2.7 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime and Alex Kochner hit big buckets in the extra session to give Texas-Tyler an 81-77 win over George Fox.

Matthews’ basket set off the first of three bench-clearing frenzies for the Patriots (30-1), but it was Kochner, who had just three points in the first 40 minutes, who made the last one possible. She hit game tying baskets with 3:00 and 2:28 left to even up the game at 70 and 72, then hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 1:03 left in overtime to give the Patriots a 77-72 lead. Matthews finished with a team-high 23 points, while Michelle Obach added 19 and Kochner 10, eight of them in overtime for Texas-Tyler (30-1). 

"She came alive for us," Texas-Tyler coach Kendra Hassell said of Kochner. "In the big moment she stepped up, she hit two transition layups and then she hit a big 3 that helped us to stretch it out. She was ready to go when we needed her the most."

The second bench-clearing celebration came after a desperation shot by George Fox missed at the end of regulation, and the third came at the end as Texas-Tyler celebrated its first trip to the Elite Eight in the program's history. Justine Benner scored a game-high 26 for George Fox, which ended its season at 29-1. Nicole Blizzard added 19, including a 3-pointer with 24 seconds to go to cut the lead to 79-77, but she missed a shot from the elbow and a 3-point attempt in overtime.

And it will be all orange at St. Thomas on Saturday, as Wartburg survived a back-and-forth battle to knock off the host Tommies 70-66 in the other sectional semifinal. Sophomores Katie and Kristie Sommer combined to score 25 points for the orange-clad Knights.

Tufts scored the last eight points of the third quarter and pulled away from Albright in the fourth, 62-49. The Lions briefly took a 34-33 lead on Nina Mazzarelli's layup with 1:49 to play in the third period. Lauren Dillon answered with a 3-pointer for Tufts and then Emma Roberson added another on the Jumbos' next possession.

In a battle of All-American post players, Michela North tallied 17 points and 19 rebounds for Tufts (26-3) while Kelecia Harris finished with 15 points and eight rebounds for Albright (27-3).

The third time was not the charm for Carnegie Mellon as Washington U. beat the Tartans for the third time this season, this time eliminating them from the NCAA Tournament, 75-69. The Bears held Carnegie Mellon to one missed shot and two turnovers during a critical two-minute fourth quarter stretch in which Washington U. outscored the Tartans 8-0 and took a seven-point lead.

Four players scored double figures for Washington U. (23-5), led by Zoe Vernon with 16. Juniors Lisa Murphy and Jackie Hudepohl finished their seasons by scoring 23 and 21 points for Carnegie Mellon (21-7). The Bears have extended their winning streak against Carnegie Mellon to 47 games.

Rochester built an insurmountable halftime lead and held off Bowdoin, 60-53. The Yellowjackets outscored the Polar Bears 19-4 in the second period and took a 35-19 lead into the halftime break. Rochester (22-5) held Bowdoin to 27 percent shooting (20-for-75) and got 16 points from Kayla Kibling to advance to its first sectional final since 2010. Shannon Brady racked up 22 points and 12 rebounds for Bowdoin (22-6).

The other three host teams rolled into the sectional finals.