Loyola women’s hoops makes statement with road win over #23 Mobile

Thu, 01/23/2014

(Mobile, Ala.) The Loyola University New Orleans women’s basketball team defeated their fourth ranked opponent of the season with an impressive 64-45 road victory over #23 University of Mobile in H. Austill Pharr Gymnasium Thursday evening.

The Wolf Pack (12-7, 6-3 SSAC) snapped the Rams’ (13-4, 7-2 SSAC) six-game win streak and handed Mobile their second conference loss of the season. Loyola senior forward Jasmine Brewer recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 17 points and 12 rebounds while junior Janeicia Neely sparked the Wolf Pack offense with 14 points in the first half en route to a game-high 21 points. Brewer went six for eight from the field and Neely nailed five of eight from long distance, going two for two from the free throw line. Loyola has won six of their last seven contests.

Mobile struck first as sophomore Molly Speed sunk an early three-point shot to open the game and capture the first lead. Junior Megan Whittaker responded at the other end of the court following a Neely steal to put the Wolf Pack on the board and make it a 3-2 game at the 18:49 mark. Junior Jakela Johnson posted two Mobile points in the paint to extend the lead to three, but once again, Whittaker was quick to answer and tied the game at five with a shot from behind the arc. She ended the night with 10 points, four rebounds and two assists. Neely followed suit with a three of her own on Loyola’s next scoring play and Mobile didn’t lead for the rest of the contest.

Neely’s long ball ignited the Wolf Pack offense as Loyola went on an eight-point run toward a 13-5 advantage with 14:43 left in the first, but Johnson cut the visiting team’s lead down to seven after making the second of two free throws. Neely lifted Loyola to their largest lead of the half during the Pack’s next possession, turning in a two-point jumper with 12:48 on the clock.

The Rams strung together eight straight points of their own to tie it up at 18 with less than 10 minutes remaining in the half, but Loyola would enter the locker room with a 29-25 edge.

Mobile opened scoring in the second half as sophomore Alicia Curry notched a field goal to make it a two-point game, but the Pack capitalized on a turnover committed by Mobile senior Deonica McCormick and extended their lead to eight following two Brewer points from the paint. The Rams reduced the Loyola lead to five after McCormick completed a free throw, making it a 37-32 contest with 14:42 left in the game, but Loyola took off on an eight-point burst capped by two Brewer foul shots to lead by 13.

After junior Rebekah Greer tallied two points from the field with 8:30 to go, the Wolf Pack led by double digits for the remainder of the game. They gained their largest lead at the hands of Neely after the junior guard completed two free throws, pulling Loyola ahead 64-43 with under a minute to play. Freshman Sydney Westry closed the game with a field goal for the Rams, but the Wolf Pack walked away with the win.

McCormick and Johnson paced the Rams with a combined 14 points. Curry steadied the rebounding effort for Mobile, collecting seven boards.

Loyola shot 42.3% from the field and 44.4% from three-point range while Mobile was just 22.8% and 9.1% in those categories. The Wolf Pack held the Rams to their lowest point total of the season.

The Wolf Pack will return home to host William Carey College on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 2 p.m. as the first half of the Hall of Fame doubleheader in The Den.

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