(New Orleans, La.) Freshman guard Katie Youngblood had a career high 17 points as Loyola University New Orleans defeated Faulkner University 64-53 in women’s basketball Saturday afternoon in The Den.
The Wolf Pack (11-13, 8-8) trailed only briefly in the contest as a jumper by Brittney Carter with 10:15 remaining in the first half gave the Eagles a 15-13 lead. Callie McNally answered to tie the score with a lay-in off a feed from Janeicia Neely.
Carter again gave Faulkner an advantage with put-back off a miss, but Cassidy Eymard knotted the score for Loyola with a field goal off a pass from Jasmine Brewer. Rebekah Greer gave the Pack the lead for good converting one of two free throw to make it 18-17 with 7:33 left in the 1st half.
Adriene Easley gave Loyola their first double digit advantage in the half on a jumper with 3:54 to make the score 29-19. Later, Youngblood converted a three pointer to give the Wolf Pack their largest lead of the period 34-23 with 2:37. The Eagles cut into the margin, closing out the half with a 7-2 run to make the score 36-30 at the break.
The Pack extended the lead again to 11 points four minutes into the second stanza with a Neely free throw, but Faulkner would not go away. The Eagles scored eight unanswered with a three pointer by Spenser Cantrell making it 43-40.
Later, Faulkner cut the margin to one point on a Carter bucket at the 6:58 mark. After Megen Berner converted a pair of free throws for the Pack, Sonja Vuong again reduced it to one with a field goal. Loyola went on a 13-3 run with Neely kick starting the spurt with a pair of three pointers. She had eight points during the run with the other five coming from Youngblood. Greer and Youngblood each converted a pair of free throws in the last 26 seconds to secure the 64-53 Wolf Pack victory.
“It was a great team effort. Our defense and rebounding were key with us forcing them into 19 turnovers. Adriene and Katie stepped up and Janeicia hit some huge shots for us down the stretch. It’s a really big win for us considering how competitive our league with the regular season coming to a close,” said Loyola head coach Kellie Kennedy.
In addition to her 17 points, Youngblood grabbed a career high nine rebounds. She converted 3 of 7 from the field and 9 of 10 from the free throw line. In her final home game, Easley matched her career highs in her last home game with 12 points and three steals. Neely also finished with 12 points.
For Faulkner (23-5, 13-3), Carter led with a game high 21 points on 9 of 10 shooting from the field. She also grabbed a game high 13 rebounds. Christina Hayes contributed 13 points for the Eagles, who are ranked 16th in the latest NAIA poll.
The victory moves Loyola into fourth place in the SSAC West Division standings. They are a game behind Belhaven, who the Pack will face next on Thursday, February 21 in Jackson, Miss. Tip off is slated for 5:30 p.m.
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