(New Orleans, La.) The Loyola University New Orleans women’s basketball team dropped an exhibition contest to Tulane University, falling 66-82 to the Green Wave in the Devlin Fieldhouse Sunday afternoon.
Down by 18 points after the first 20 minutes of action, junior Janeicia Neely jump started the second half scoring effort for the Wolf Pack (6-5) with a three-point shot. Senior Jasmine Brewer followed up with a bucket to create a five-point Loyola streak to start the half, but Tulane (5-3) junior Danielle Blagg responded quickly with a three. Junior Callie McNally posted two points from underneath, making it a 36-50 contest with 17:20 remaining.
A steal by McNally set up a Neely three to cut the Loyola deficit to 10 at the 15:57 mark. Neely slashed the Green Wave edge further with a jumper, improving the score to 43-51. Freshman Meghan Temple followed suit, posting two points to give Loyola their best chance of a comeback, finding themselves down by six points, but an eight-point Tulane run put the Green Wave back up by double digits, 59-45.
Freshman Kylah Jones sunk one of two from the free throw line, hoping to spark another Loyola surge, but Tulane strung together another eight-point rally. Following a three-point shot from Tulane’s Blagg, the Green Wave would allow just four more Loyola points as they rolled to a 82-66 victory.
In the first half, junior Megan Whittaker opened scoring for the Wolf Pack with a three-point shot. Temple put up two points from underneath, bringing the Wolf Pack within one but still trailing the Green Wave 5-6. Whittaker remained hot from behind the arch, sinking another three to make it an 8-10 game.
Following a Loyola foul on freshman Leslie Vorpahl, the Green Wave put together a three-point play at the free throw line to increase their lead to five. On the next Tulane possession, Neely forced a Green Wave turnover and raced down the court to complete a fastbreak layup. Neely nailed a three on the next Loyola scoring play to tie the game at 13 with 12:08 remaining in the first.
Tulane went on a 10-point run including back to back three-point shots to take a 23-13 lead. The Green Wave would score 16 consecutive points before allowing the Pack to score again. Sophomore Shayne Charles reignited the Loyola offense from long range. Neely initiated an offensive surge in an effort to chip away at the Tulane lead with back to back threes, bringing the Pack within 11 at 22-33, but the Green Wave followed with six straight points to lead by 15 with 3:05 on the clock. The Wolf Pack entered the locker room with a 29-47 disadvantage.
Neely earned a team best 23 points for the Wolf Pack, going five for eight from three-point range and a perfect two for two from the line. She added five rebounds, four assists and two steals to her solid all-around performance. Brewer contributed 14 points, five boards, a team-high three steals and two assists. Temple and McNally secured the glass with six rebounds apiece. Jones commanded the passing game with six assists. Whittaker posted nine points and three steals. Loyola shot just 41.3% from the field, but completed 45.0% of attempts taken from three-point range. They were outrebounded by Tulane 34-40.
Vorpahl sparked the Green Wave, recording 20 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Blagg and junior Tiffany Dale joined her in scoring double digits, posting 15 and 18 points respectively. Sophomore Tierra Jones secured 10 rebounds. Junior Jamie Kaplan turned in six assists.
The Wolf Pack will return to regular season action as they seek to avenge their recent loss to Southern University New Orleans on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 2:00 p.m. versus the Knights in The Castle.