Crestview Hills, Ky. - The No. 18 Transylvania women's basketball team will mark its first-ever trip into the sectional round of the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament with a "Sweet 16" matchup against the No. 1 Thomas More University Saints on Friday, March 8 at the Connor Convocation Center on the campus of Thomas More for a 7:00 p.m. tip-off.
The Pioneers advanced into the Sweet 16 for the first time since moving into the NCAA from the NAIA in the early-2000s this past weekend by defeating Piedmont (Ga.) College, 77-67 in the first round in Lexington on Friday and cruising past Oglethorpe University, 76-56 in Saturday's second-round game.
Friday's Sweet 16 matchup will follow a 5:00 p.m. game between No. 22 Washington University in St. Louis and No. 12 Mary Hardin-Baylor, also played at the Connor Convocation Center. The winner of Friday's game will advance to a Saturday "Elite 8" sectional final at 6:30 p.m. at the Connor Convocation Center. Saturday's winner will advance into the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament held in Salem, Virginia on March 15-16.
Friday's matchup marks the first time Transylvania and Thomas More have squared off against one another in NCAA Tournament history. The Saints are undefeated on the year at 29-0 and are competing this season as members of the American Collegiate Athletic Association in their final season in the NCAA. The Saints are pursuing their second NCAA championship in program history and their first since 2016.
Thomas More is led by senior forward Madison Temple, who leads the Saints in scoring at 23.5 points per game, in rebounds with 7.4 boards per game, and in assists with 5.7 assists per game. The Saints also boast senior forward Shelby Rupp, who averages 12 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, and forward junior Emily Schultz, who averages 11 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
Senior guard Celia Kline paces the Pioneers at 14.7 points per game and ranks third in the country in three-point percentage at 47.6 percent entering the NCAA Tournament. The senior is coming off a game-high 25 points in Transylvania's second-round win against Oglethorpe in which she hit 6-of-8 three-pointers.
Kline is joined by junior guard Shelby Boyle, who leads the Pioneers in rebounding with 7.6 boards per game and is second on the team in scoring with 14.5 points per game. Junior guard Ashton Woodard is Transylvania's other double-digit scorer at 12.9 points per contest. All three players are shooting 37 percent or better from three-point range this season.
The Pioneers and Saints will face off for the first time since December 29, 2006, when the Pioneers captured a 62-58 victory at Thomas More.
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