Senior guard Jenna Dockter recorded 19 points and six assists, and No. 2-ranked St. Thomas never trailed in Friday's 55-47 victory over No. 14 Hope in the opening round of the Division III NCAA women's basketball tournament in Crestview Hills, Ky.
St. Thomas lost starter Maggie Weiers, who started strong with nine rebounds, and key reserve Hannah Hughes to injuries in the first half. The Tommies closed the half on a 7-0 run and took a 22-13 lead into halftime.
"I am just proud of how tough our girls were tonight," UST coach Ruth Sinn said. "We had a couple of injuries to seniors in the first half, but we fought through it."
St. Thomas built the lead to 20 points and never let Hope, which shot 27.9 percent, climb within seven in the final 20 minutes.
St. Thomas helped limit the Flying Dutch (25-5) to 28 percent shooting and avenged a 71-61 Sweet 16 loss to Hope from March 2013. The Tommies have allowed only 45 points a game in five postseason wins.
Hope, owner of two national championships, sank seven of 20 three-pointers but made only 10 of 41 shots from inside the arc. Katie Stone sank four three-pointers and finished with 14 points, and Anna Smith chipped in nine points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 35 minutes.
St. Thomas (30-0) will play Thomas More winner at 6 p.m. Saturday.
D-III men: St Olaf, Northwestern beaten
Marietta used a 19-5 second-half run to overcome a 12-point deficit and defeat St. Olaf 79-72 in the third round of the Division III men's tournament in Rock Island, Ill.
The Oles (23-6) got 18 points from Ben Figini and 14 from Sterling Nielsen. Austin Majeskie and Riley Aeikens added 11 points each.
After Marietta took a 65-61 lead with 5:12 left, St. Olaf got within one twice, but Marietta made its free throws down the stretch. St. Olaf committed only two first-half turnovers, but Marietta forced eight in the final 20 minutes, leading to 12 points.
The NCAA appearance was the second in a row for the Oles, who finished with a school-record 23 wins.
•Northwestern-St. Paul saw its season —and its school-record 18-game winning streak — end with a 70-46 loss to East Texas Baptist in the third round of the Division III national tournament in Stevens Point, Wis.
The Eagles (20-10) shot 30 percent and fell out of contention when the Tigers (24-5), who led 39-25 at the break, broke the game open with an 18-4 run at the start of the second half.
Matt Watnemo was the only Eagles scorer in double figures, making five of seven shots for 11 points. Northwestern guard Michael Carney, the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference player of the year and Eagles' leading scorer with a 15.2 points per game average, was held to five.