(Central, S.C.) The Loyola University New Orleans women’s basketball team completed a sweep of both conference opponents faced this weekend when they defeated Southern Wesleyan 96-84 in the Historic Tysinger Gymnasium Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Wolf Pack extended their current winning streak to four consecutive contests.
Despite outscoring the Warriors (4-8, 2-4 SSAC) by just one point in the second half, the Wolf Pack (10-6, 4-2 SSAC) entered the final 20 minutes of action with a comfortable 47-34 advantage. Senior Kiara Coleman attempted to ignite the Warriors’ offense to open the second half with a putback following a Wolf Pack turnover, but Loyola responded with back to back scoring plays from junior Callie McNally and senior Jasmine Brewer to make it a 51-36 game in favor of the Pack with 18:20 remaining.
Following a field goal from Loyola freshman Meghan Temple to put the Pack up by 19 with 13:43 in the game, Southern Wesleyan changed their lineup in an attempt to refresh their offense. The fresh faces on the floor produced a six-point run for the Warriors, reducing the Wolf Pack lead to 13, but Southern Wesleyan failed to halt Loyola’s sharpshooters. Freshman Caroline Gonzalez answered the Warriors’ push for points with a three-point shot to silence Southern Wesleyan.
The Pack earned their largest lead of the half following two made free throws from Temple as Loyola pulled ahead 86-65 at the 4:37 mark. The Warriors managed to cut the Loyola lead back down to 13 at the foul line as freshman Cayse Branyon nailed a pair of free throws, but with just three minutes remaining, Southern Wesleyan failed to find an answer for Loyola’s on point offense as the Wolf Pack pulled away with the 96-84 win.
Four Wolf Pack players turned in points in double digits. Temple tallied a career high 18 points to spark the Loyola offense. She pulled down five rebounds and notched one block and one steal for an all-around game. Junior Megan Whittaker notched 16 points and six rebounds while senior Jasmine Brewer earned her fourth double double of the season as she tabbed 12 points and 11 rebounds. Junior Janeicia Neely added 11 points and two team bests with five assists and four steals. Sophomore Shayne Charles collected eight boards and two steals.
Sophomore Christiana Perkins paced the Warriors with 28 points, eight rebounds and five steals, leading Southern Wesleyan in all three categories. Branyon, Coleman and freshman Brooke Strickland contributed 12 points apiece.
Southern Wesleyan held a lead for the first eight minutes of play until Neely tied the game at 17 off a fast break following a Warriors turnover. The play proved to be a turning point for the Wolf Pack as Southern Wesleyan didn’t lead for the rest of the game. A seven-point streak capped by a Whittaker shot from long range helped them secure a 43-32 lead with 1:35 left in the first. Whittaker would post two more points with five second left to put the Pack up 47-34 as they headed to the locker room to end the half.
The Wolf Pack will head to Blue Mountain College on Thursday, Jan. 16 for a 5:30 p.m. conference matchup.