(Montgomery, AL) Loyola University New Orleans fell to Emmanuel College 62-54 in women’s basketball in the play-in game of the SSAC tournament on Wednesday afternoon at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama.
Loyola entered the matchup as the fifth seed in the west playing against Emmanuel, the fourth seed in the eastern division of the SSAC. The matchup proved close as neither team led by more than the final margin of eight.
The first half was a tight affair as Loyola held the lead for much of the period. The Wolf Pack’s biggest advantage was a six point margin which occurred after Katie Youngblood scored a quick five points to push the lead to 15-9 with 13:30 remaining in the opening stanza. Loyola held the upper hand until Ashley Skelton hit a three pointer with 3:45 left to give the Lions their first lead of the half. Mariah Davis made a jumper with six seconds still on the clock to give Emmanuel a 28-27 halftime lead.
The Lions scored 11 of the first 15 points of the second half as Davis had five to help Emmanuel extended their advantage to 39-33.
Loyola hung around for the rest of the game and cut the lead to three when Jasmine Brewer spun and made a layup with 93 seconds remaining in the contest. However, Kaylyn Young made a layup then Davis forced a jump ball with Janeicia Neely. Possession went to Emmanuel and Victoria Rogers scored a layup from Young to push the lead back to seven.
Brewer led the Wolf Pack in scoring with 12 points. Neely and Youngblood each scored 11 while combining for seven assists. Youngblood had a team high six rebounds. Megen Berner tallied eight points in her last collegiate game for the Wolf Pack.
The Lions were led by 21 points from Young, who also put up six assists. Rogers tallied 14 while Davis put up nine and a team high six rebounds.
Loyola (11-15, 8-10) hung in the game despite shooting 33.3% from the field and 23.5% from the three point line. Emmanuel (16-10, 10-8) shot 50% from the field and 44.4% from behind the arc, which was the difference as the teams both pulled down 32 rebounds. The turnovers were 21-19 in favor of Loyola.
Emmanuel will advance to the quarterfinals of the SSAC tournament where they will face the top seed in the west and #19 nationally ranked Faulkner University. Loyola’s season comes to a close with the defeat.