New Orleans, La.- Jackie Padilla’s three-pointer with 14 seconds remaining gave Loyola University New Orleans women’s basketball team an upset victory over #7 Lee University 72-70 Friday night in The Den.
Loyola trailed by as many as 18 points in the game as Lee’s Kally Eldrige converted a pair of free throws with 1:21 remaining in the first half. Andriene Easley made two from the charity stripe on Loyola’s next possession to send the teams to the half with Lee leading 41-25.
The margin remained double digits until 10:48 remaining with a bucket by Easely off an assist from Rachael Nolan to make the score 51-42. The Lady Flames responded to extend the advantage to 68-54 with an Eldrige bucket off a steal by Karley Miller with 5:48 to play.
The Wolfpack outscored Lee 18-2 over the final 4:55 of the contest. Brewer began the run with a jumper in the paint off an assist from Keiva Council. Brewer scored the next three Wolfpack points to cut the lead to nine points.
Megen Berner followed with another Wolfpack bucket to make the score 68-61 at the 3:40 mark. Brooke McKinnon’s field goal for Lee at 3:30 was their only points of the final five minutes of the game and extended the lead to 70-61.
Loyola scored 11 unanswered to close out the contest. The winner came as Council found Padilla alone in the corner for the three pointer to give the Wolfpack a 71-70 lead- their first and only lead of the game.
On the Lady Flames ensuing possession, Nolan took a charge from Hollie German with three seconds remaining. Council was fouled on the inbounds and converted one of two and time expired on the Flames as Loyola took the 72-70 victory.
“The last play broke down for us, but I give Keiva all the credit for keeping her composure and making a great decision to get the ball to Jackie, who knocked down a huge shot for us. Rachael Nolan, our leader, got the charge for a great defensive play to seal it,” said Loyola head coach Kellie Kennedy.
Loyola’s top scorers both came off the bench for career highs. Brewer, a freshman from Houston, led all scorers with 27 points on 7 of 10 shooting from the field. She was a perfect 13 of 13 from the free throw line. Berner also had a career high to add 14. She grabbed a career high nine rebounds, the most in the contest. Nolan contributed 10 points and 7 rebounds for the Wolfpack (7-2).
For Lee (7-2), McKinnon had 19 points on 7 of 22 shooting from the field. German added 14 to round out the leaders.
“I’m so proud of this team tonight. They showed so much heart and never gave up especially when we were down late in the game. I can’t say enough about Jasmine Brewer, who in just the ninth game of her career had 27 points against the #7 ranked team in the country. Megen Berner stepped up with career highs and Jackie Padilla showed great confidence hitting the game winner. I’m just so happy for our kids and staff. We’ll enjoy this tonight and get ready for another ranked opponent tomorrow afternoon,” concluded Kennedy.
Loyola will face Southern Poly, who is ranked #12 in the latest NAIA poll, on Saturday at 2 p.m. in The Den.
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