COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Loyola University New Orleans women’s basketball started a stretch of three straight games against Top 25 competition on Saturday evening, falling to No. 23 Columbia College, 73-59, at The Arena of Southwell Complex.
Loyola (6-2) trailed 27-22 at the break, but Columbia College, coming off an upset victory over No. 9 Freed-Hardeman, outscored the Wolfpack 15-4 in the first four minutes of the second half to put the game away.
Junior Keiva Council finished with a game-high 21 points for the Wolfpack with freshman Jasmine Brewer chipping in 11. Senior Rachael Nolan and sophomore Molly Emig added eight points a piece.
Columbia College (4-3) had four players crack double figures in scoring, led by Denise Rosario with 16 points on 7 of 10 shooting. Janita Session finished with 15, Kayla Rice had 12, and Heather English added 10.
Council gave LU their largest lead of the game after hitting her second three-pointer, putting the score at 13-8. Council would add two more three balls in the game, but the ‘Pack struggled as a team shooting only 24 percent from behind the arc.
The Lady Cougars answered with an 8-0 run with less than 8:00 left in the half, sparked by a bucket from Rosario. LU evened the score at 16 on a free throw by Brewer, but went into the break down five.
Columbia scored the first eight points of the second stanza to ignite the decisive second-half run. The Lady Cougars would lead by as much as 19 before going on to win their third straight game.
Loyola shot 35 percent (22 of 63) from the field while Columbia finished at 47 percent (28 of 60). The Wolfpack had a 44-36 edge on the boards, led by Nolan with nine. Council and Brewer finished with eight rebounds each.
Loyola will return to action next weekend at The Den with two games against Top 25 teams, starting on Friday, Dec. 3, with No. 7 Lee University at 5:30 p.m.