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No. 1 Thomas More grinds out win over Denison

Kelly Arter

Defending Division III national champion and preseason number one, Thomas More made the trip to Granville on Wednesday and left with a hard-fought 62-48 win over Denison.

Two-time NCAA Division III Player of the Year Sydney Moss did not play for the Saints.  Thomas More announced today that Moss will be held from competition during a compliance review that is being conducted by the college.

With its biggest gun out of the lineup, Thomas More turned to its other All-American, Abby Owings.  The Saints took a 17-7 lead after the first quarter but the Big Red responded in the second, powered by senior Kellie Arter who found her stroke from long range.  The Big Red connected on seven field goals in the second quarter and five came from beyond the arc.  Arter scored 12 of her 15 first-half points in the quarter as DU trailed 27-26 at the break.

Moss' absence was noticeable on the offensive end but defensively, Thomas More utilized a full court press periodically to disrupt Denison's flow.  The Big Red committed 28 turnovers in the game and Thomas More turned those into 27 points at the other end.

In the second half, Owens scored 14 of her career-high 27 points, preventing Denison from making a serious threat.  In 34 minutes she also added four assists while going 10-of-24 from the field.  Nikki Kiernan followed with 14 points and five rebounds.

For Denison, Arter finished with 17 points off a 6-of-11 shooting performance.  Jordan Holmes continued her streak of 20+ rebound games as she ended with 21 rebounds, 10 points and three blocked shots while playing all 40 minutes for the third-straight game.  Holmes was named the North Coast Athletic Conference's Player of the Week on Monday for her performances against Case Western Reserve and Wilmington.  In three games she is averaging 14.7 ppg and 21.0 rpg.

The Big Red dominated the glass, 48-28.  Aside from Holmes' 21 boards, Emily Krumpe added eight rebounds and four points.  DU shot 18-of-52 (.346) while the Saints finished 23-of-62 (.371).

Denison will travel to Greensboro, N.C. this weekend for a pair of games against Guilford on Saturday and Lynchburg on Sunday.

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