Transylvania women beat Christopher Newport for D-III title

DALLAS -- Madison Kellione scored seven of her 17 points in the fourth quarter, and Dasia Thornton added 13 points and 10 rebounds to help Transylvania beat top-ranked Christopher Newport 57-52 Saturday to win the NCAA Division III women's basketball championship, the first national title in program history.

Kennedi Stacy had eight points on 2-of-14 shooting (1-of-7 from 3-point range) but added 11 rebounds and a career-high eight steals for No. 2 Transylvania (33-0).

"We were so excited to be able to do this for Transylvania and the entire community," Transylvania coach Juli Fulks said.

The Captains (32-1) lost for the first time since the Sweet 16 of the 2022 tournament.

Christopher Newport's Lauren Fortescue made two free throws to cap a 12-3 run and make it 47-all with two minutes to play. Kellione put the Pioneers back in front when she made two foul shots with 90 seconds remaining and Gabbi San Diego kissed a left-hand layup off the glass. But Thornton scored inside, and after San Diego missed a layup attempt, Kellione made two free throws to give Transylvania a four-point lead with 13.5 seconds to go.

Hannah Kaloi had 13 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks for Christopher Newport and San Diego finished with 11 points, 5 assists and 2 steals.

The Pioneers used a tiebreaking 13-0 run -- including eight points by Thornton -- in the third quarter to take their biggest lead of the game at 36-23 midway through the period.

Kennedy Harris hit a 3-pointer with 7:05 left in the second quarter that made it 20-18 and Transylvania never again trailed.

Christopher Newport won the men's Div. III national championship when Trey Barber made a buzzer-beating layup to beat Mount Union 74-72 in the title game on March 18.