CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. - Jeff Hans knows he's building a dynasty in Northern Kentucky. But he also knows he's not at the mountain top.
When it was suggested that any school, anywhere, would love to put a banner over it's school entrance that says "65-0", the Thomas More College women's basketball coach quipped, "Except UConn, except UConn."
Of course, the University of Connecticut is the gold standard when it comes to women's college basketball. But Hans and his Saints deserved a piece of the turf the Huskies have. The Saints haven't lost a game in either of the past two seasons. They just won their tenth consecutive conference tournament and they have the three time defending NCAA Division III Player of the Year in Sydney Moss.
Oh, and they're also 96-1 in their last 97 games. Now, the Saints are getting ready to try and win their second consecutive Division III Championship. They'll play Tufts University Monday night at 6 pm In Indianapolis.
"It's been crazy," freshman guard Madison Temple told WCPO. The former Anderson High School star was just named a Freshman All-American. "Every game, everyone gets a little nervous. Just became, there's a lot of pressure on us because of the expectations and everything. But I've learned to adjust pretty well."
Temple was also the Freshman of the Year in the Saints conference, The Presidents Athletic Conference.
But it's Moss who is the star of this team. The senior guard/forward averaged 22.4 points per game this season. Moss put up 30 or more points eight times this year, including 41 against Waynesburg. She dropped 39 on Amherst in the Division III semifinal game. Moss missed the first five games of this season, sitting out an NCAA compliance issue. She told WCPO Monday's game, win or lose, will be an emotional moment for her.
"It's going to be emotional, I guess. But, you know, we gotta go out there and play. And then, afterward, we can get emotional."
Tufts will present several problems for the Saints. It has held opponents to a average of 44 points per game this season. But the high flying Saints have averaged 92 a game and are shooting 48 percent from the field. Of course, Amherst was the best defensive team in Division III basketball this season. And the Saints managed 74 points in that game.
Thomas More will play Tufts this Monday night at Bankers Life Field House in Indianapolis at 6 p.m.