PINEVILLE, La. - Jackie Padilla scored a career-high 19 points for the Loyola University New Orleans women’s basketball team, but Louisiana College held off the Wolfpack, 78-76, on Thursday night at H.O. West Field House.
Loyola (9-4) had a 44-38 lead at halftime against 22nd-ranked NCAA-III Louisiana College, but the Lady Cats used an 18-6 second-half run to stay perfect on the year at 10-0.
The Wolfpack shot 54 percent while holding LC to 39 percent and out rebounded the Lady Cats 45-34. However, Louisiana College forced LU into 19 second-half miscues to erase an eight-point deficit. On the night, LC recorded 18 steals off 29 Loyola turnovers.
Loyola put together their best offensive first-half showing of the early season, led by Padilla who scored 15 of her game-high 19 points. The Wolfpack moved the ball well, recording 16 assists on 17 made field goals while shooting 55 percent.
Down 53-47 in the second stanza, Natosha Gottlieb, who scored 17 for the Lady Cats, cut the deficit in half with a three-pointer. With the game even at 54, LC would grab the lead for good at the 11:05 mark on a three from Janet Butler.
Loyola managed to come within a point on three separate occasions before Louisiana College pushed the lead to 74-65 on a jumper by Roslyn Wilmer with less than four minutes remaining. Wilmer led the Lady Cats with 19 points.
The ‘Pack made one final push, scoring the games final six points to make it 78-76. With 13 seconds left, Loyola had a chance to tie or win but were unable to get off a shot before time expired.
Along with Padilla, Loyola was led by Keiva Council with 12 points, Jasmine Brewer came off the bench for 11, and Rachael Nolan added 10. Council and Brewer had eight rebounds each while Molly Emig finished with a career-high nine assists.
Tillisha Givens had a double-double for Louisiana College with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Briana Lewis also chipped in with 13 points.
Loyola returns to action on Jan. 5 when they host Talladega College at The Den. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. LU defeated Talladega earlier this season, 56-55.