Christendom College women’s basketball wins national title — By: Catholic News Agency

The Christendom College Women’s Basketball team wins the 2024 USCAA DII National Championship. / Credit: Paul Aguilar

CNA Staff, Mar 15, 2024 / 17:45 pm (CNA).

The Christendom College women’s basketball team has made school history — bringing home the school’s first national title in women’s basketball. Christendom defeated Johnson & Wales Charlotte 76-65 in the USCAA DII National Championship in Petersburg, Virginia, on March 13. 

Christendom College is a Catholic liberal arts college founded in 1977 in Front Royal, Virginia.

According to the college’s press release, the team was ranked No. 7 going into the tournament and had major upsets against the No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 seeds. 

After earning their first trip to the USCAA National Championship Tournament last season, the team had even higher expectations for themselves this season. They went 23-5 during the regular season, which was also a school record. 

Mary Pennefather, a freshman, and Catherine Thomas, a junior, led the USCAA in points per game with 24.6 and 27.3 points per game respectively, and total points scored, with 566 and 601. 

Christendom beat No. 2 Penn State Beaver and No. 3 Central Maine in the quarterfinals and semifinals — landing them their spot at the championship game against the No. 1 seed. Roughly 100 Christendom students made the trip to support and cheer their team to victory. 

The championship game was hard fought with Christendom losing the lead several times but pushing each time to gain it back, the release said. The women came out of the game strong in the second half and extended their lead to 56-40 to close the third quarter. With less than three minutes left in the game, they had gained a lead of 72-49. Johnson & Wales gave a strong last effort during those final minutes, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Crusaders.

Thomas was named tournament MVP for her outstanding performance over the course of four games, including setting tournament records in single-game points scored and three-pointers made in the quarterfinals. Pennefather, Regina Bonvissuto, and Miranda Keller were all named to the All-Tournament team as well.

Photos of the win can be found on the college’s web site.

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