(Jackson, Miss) Loyola University New Orleans women’s basketball team fell 51-50 to Belhaven University Thursday evening at Heidelberg Gymnasium. Ashley Wakefield hit two free throws with eight seconds left to provide the difference in the game.
Loyola and Belhaven played a back and forth first half with neither team holding more than a five point advantage. The score was tied at 21 entering the second stanza. The Blazers opened the second half on a quick 6-0 run. Belhaven held a 34-27 lead with 12 minutes remaining but Loyola went on a 9-2 run to tie the game with buckets from four different players.
The Blazers held a 49-45 lead which Megen Berner cut to two with a 1:10 left as Janeicia Neely fed her after getting her own offensive rebound. Then Jasmine Brewer hit Rebekah Greer for a three pointer which gave the Wolf Pack their first lead of the second half with 26 seconds remaining in the game. However Neely fouled Wakefield, who calmly hit two free throws. Loyola turned the ball over on their last possession to end the game.
Loyola (11-14, 8-9) fell into a tie with Mobile for fourth in the conference. They sit one game in front of Spring Hill with one game left in the regular season and need a win to assure themselves of postseason play. Belhaven (13-15, 10-7) has secured the third spot in the tournament.
Neely was the only Wolf Pack player in double figures with 14 points. However Greer and Berner finished with eight points. Katie Youngblood led Loyola with four assists. Jasmine Brewer finished with seven points and a team high five rebounds.
The Blazers had four players in double figures as Wakefield finished with 13 points. Alisha Rayborn, Erika Leflore, and TaShayla Steede all finished with 10 points for Belhaven. Leflore and Steede both had nine rebounds to lead the Blazers.
Loyola shot 39.6% from the field and 50% from the free throw line in the defeat. The Wolf Pack were outrebounded 36-26 as the Blazers shot 41.7% from the field. The Wolf Pack had 10 steals with three each by Brewer and Neely.
Loyola will finish out the regular season with a game against Auburn-Montgomery on the road at on Saturday, February 23rd in Montgomery, Alabama. Tip off is slated for 2 p.m.