(Frankfort, Ky.) The Loyola University New Orleans women’s basketball team will launch their 2014 NAIA National Tournament campaign with an opening round matchup versus Georgetown College of Kentucky on Thursday, March 20 at 5:15 p.m. CDT at the Frankfort Convention Center.
The Wolf Pack (21-11) advanced to the semifinal round of the SSAC Tournament after earning the SSAC West division regular season crown, but fell to the eventual conference champions, the University of Mobile, 77-63. Senior Jasmine Brewer commands her squad in average points (13.53), rebounds (7.88) and steals (1.72) per game. She ranks 22nd in Division I in offensive rebounds per game (3.563), 26th in total rebounds (252) and 48th in total rebounds per game. Junior Janeicia Neely leads the Pack in assists, dishing out an average 4.34 per contest. She sits 14th in Division I in total assists (139) and 25th in assists per game.
Rounding out the probable starting lineup for the tournament are freshman Kylah Jones, sophomore Shayne Charles and junior Megan Whittaker. Jones ranks fourth on the team in points per game, turning in 8.6 a night. Charles is turning in 5.6 points and 4.2 rebounds per contest. Whittaker has started all 32 contests for the Pack. She ranks first on her squad in free throw percentage (.900) and second in three-point field goal percentage (.400). Whittaker has tallied 90 three-pointers on the season. She is averaging 10.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.
The #8 Tigers (21-8) fell to Campbellsville, 75-68 in the Mid-South Conference (MSC) championship. Senior Andrea Howard enters the tournament averaging a team-leading 15.31 points per game. Junior Devanny King secures the boards for Georgetown, pulling down an average 6.86 rebounds per contest. Senior Kourtney Tyra leads the passing effort for the Tigers, averaging 6.48 assists a game.
The opening round contest marks the first meeting between Georgetown and Loyola. The Tigers strung together a mid-season eight-game win streak, their longest stretch of victories on the year. Loyola put together two five-game win stints this season and won seven of their last nine contests. They defeated six ranked teams this season and earned 31 votes in the final NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll of the 2013-14 season. Both teams enter the tournament 2-2 in their last four games.
The first 30 games of the national championship will be video streamed live on NAIA.org. Fans can watch with a paid subscription. For more information, visit http://www.naia.org/ViewArticle.dbml?&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=27900&&ATCLID=205423235. The NAIA holds exclusive broadcast rights for the national championship and no other video streaming is allowed. The national championship final on March 25 will air at 6:30 p.m. EST on ESPN3 online.