(New Orleans, La.) The Loyola University New Orleans women’s basketball team’s win streak was halted at five as they fell to #24 Martin Methodist in a 70-73 decision Saturday afternoon in The Den.
Wolf Pack (11-7, 5-3 SSAC) freshman Kylah Jones recorded a career-high 17 points to lead the Loyola offense while senior Jasmine Brewer earned her fifth double double of the season, but the Pack came up short in a hard-fought battle with the RedHawks (14-3, 7-1), their fifth ranked opponent this season.
Freshman Caroline Gonzalez notched a career-high 14 points for the Pack, going four for nine from downtown and two for two from the free throw line. She matched junior Janeicia Neely’s seven rebounds for the team’s second-highest rebounding effort of the night. Senior Jasmine Brewer crashed the boards and collected a season-high 15 rebounds. Additionally, Brewer turned in 10 points and captured two steals.
Martin Methodist senior Rachel Brown scored the go-ahead three-pointer with 50 seconds remaining in the game to put the RedHawks up 71-70. With time winding down, freshman Caroline Gonzalez attempted a shot from behind the arc to regain the lead, but missed the mark and forced Loyola to foul, sending freshman Janasia Williams to the line. Williams sunk the first but missed the second, stretching the lead to just two points with 16 seconds on the clock. Gonzalez tossed up another three-point shot, but it didn’t fall. Williams returned to the line to add one more point to the RedHawks advantage. Gonzalez attempted a game-tying three as time expired, but it was a no go as Loyola fell to the RedHawks 70-73.
Brown finished with 18 points and 10 boards for the RedHawks to notch one of two double doubles for Martin Methodist. Senior Tyffani Fenwick contributed 16 points and 10 rebounds to the win while sophomore Nina Mills went three for seven from the three-point line en route to bucketing 18 points for the visiting team.
Loyola, up 29-28 at the half, struggled to secure a significant lead in the last 20 minutes of play. Freshman Kyoko Wade completed one of two free throws to quickly tie the game at 29 just seconds into the half. The score would tie four more times before the Pack snagged a four-point lead following a Gonzalez three at the 11:50 mark to make it a 50-47 game.
The Wolf Pack fell behind in the middle of the half and found themselves down four points after senior Kyra Knight knocked one down from the field, but Loyola responded with five consecutive points including a three-point field goal from Jones to steal the lead at 60-59 with 7:24 to play. Another Gonzalez three pushed the Pack ahead by four, their largest lead of the second half, with less than five minutes to play, but the freshman’s hot hand cooled down as the RedHawks’ offense heated up and went home with the win.
Jones and Brown commanded their respective squads early on, turning in eight and 10 points respectively in the first half. The Wolf Pack bounced back after falling behind by six, the largest deficit of the game, with less than 10 minutes in the first. Loyola slowly chipped away at the RedHawks’ slim advantage which led to the Neely jumper that secured the one-point lead for the Pack at the half.
Despite leading Division I in offensive, defensive and total rebounds, Martin Methodist just slightly edged Loyola on the boards, 57-53. Both squads committed 12 turnovers and tallied six steals. The RedHawks found success from long range however, hitting 52.6% of shots taken from three-point range, while the Wolf Pack shot 27.3% from the same distance.
The Wolf Pack hits the road on Thursday, Jan. 23 for another conference contest at the University of Mobile at 5:30 p.m.