Montgomery, Ala.- The University of Mobile used a sizable rebounding advantage en route to a 77-63 win over Loyola University New Orleans in the Southern States Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament Friday evening at the Multiplex at the Cramton Bowl.
The Rams (22-8) grabbed 55 rebounds including 22 on the offensive end, while holding the Wolf Pack to 33 total boards in the contest. Deonica McCormick led Mobile with a game high 27 points on 7 of 28 shooting from the field, but added 13 of 16 from the free throw line. Alicia Curry had a career high 19 rebounds in the game, while adding 16 points. Jakela Johnson tied a season high with 12 boards and Molly Speed added 15 points for UM in the winning effort.
For Loyola (21-11), Kylah Jones was 4 of 10 from the field to lead with 12 points. Janeicia Neely and Jasmine Brewer finished with 10 points each. Brewer had a team high seven rebounds.
Neither team led by more than four points in the first 10 minutes until Megan Temple’s field goal gave Loyola their largest lead of the night, 20-15 with 9:45 left in the first half. Over the next seven minutes, the teams fought to three ties and four lead changes until the 2:21 mark when the Rams closed out the first half on an 7-1 run as a Speed three pointer gave Mobile the lead for good breaking a 27-27 tie.
After a Megan Whittaker miss on the Wolf Pack end, Curry had a putback to extend the advantage to 32-27. Later, McCormick’s bucket with 1:50 left in the stanza gave the Rams a 34-27 lead. Brewer converted one of two free throws in the next Loyola possession, breaking a nearly two minute drought. Neither team would convert over the final 1:14 as Mobile went to the locker room with the 34-28 lead at the break.
UM opened the second half with a pair of quick baskets in the period’s opening 24 seconds. Brewer stopped the 11-1 Ram streak with a field goal to make it 38-30 with 19:14 remaining.
The Wolf Pack pulled to within five points in the second half on two separate occasions. The first came as Brewer drilled a three pointer with 16:13 remaining. The last happend at 14:59 as Neely converted two of three free throws to cut it to 42-37 Rams. Mobile would outscore the Wolf Pack 35-18 over the final 13:35 to capture the win.
The Rams shot 36.76% from the field and 35.71% from behind the arc as compared to the Wolf Pack who converted 33.90% in field goal attempts and 28.57% from distance. Loyola was successful in 71.43% from the free throw line, while Mobile made 66.67%. The Pack forced 17 UM turnovers, while committing 16 on the evening.
The Wolf Pack, who secured an automatic bid to the NAIA National Championship Tournament by winning the West Division of the SSAC, will await the announcement of the pairings on March 12 at 7 p.m. via live video on the NAIA website (NAIA.org).
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