|Madison Temple took over in the fourth quarter and took her team back to the national championship game.
Photo by Dave Hilbert, d3photography.com
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. Madison Temple put her team on her back in the fourth quarter and led top-ranked Thomas More to another huge postseason victory.
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The Saints defeated Scranton, 69-56, and advanced to the national championship for the first time since Temple’s freshman season. The senior scored 14 of her 20 points in the final quarter, complementing her nine rebounds and six assists.
The teams exchanged spurts throughout. Thomas More opened a 15-6 lead to start the game, only to see Scranton rally to knot the contest at 19 after one quarter. The Saints jumped out on a 9-0 run to start the second quarter and that made the difference as the Saints took a 37-28 lead into the locker room.
In the third quarter, it was the Lady Royals who rallied. Scranton raced out to a 10-1 run to tie the game at 38, holding the Saints without a field goal for the first seven-plus minutes of the second half. Scranton star Makenzie Mason was held to just two baskets in the first 20 minutes--making the first shot and last shot of the half--but doubled that output in the first five minutes of the third quarter.
The Saints were content to attack the interior, feeding Shelby Rupp and Emily Schultz in the post. Madison Temple made just two of seven field goal attempts and scored just six points through the first three quarters. Rupp and Schultz combined for 28 points, each shooting 50 percent from the field. Kaela Saner added 10 points for the Saints.
Scranton shot just 38.8 percent from the field and turned the ball over 20 times. The Lady Royals missed their first seven field goals of the fourth quarter and did not sink a shot from the field until Mason’s three pointer with 4:22 to play. By that time, they trailed 59-48. Mason finished with a team high 18. Bridgette Mann scored 10 but made just two of 10 attempts from behind the arc. Emily Sheehan also added 10 points for the Lady Royals.
The Saints advance to face Bowdoin in Saturday’s national championship game at 7:30 p.m ET.