NEW ORLEANS, La. – The 23rd ranked Loyola University New Orleans women’s basketball team closed out the regular season Saturday afternoon with a 73-62 victory over Mobile in The DEN. Senior Keiva Council went out strong with 29 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a block.
Council’s 29 points came off a 45.5 field goal percentage (10-of-22) and a 57.1 three-point field goal percentage (8-of-14). Sophomore guard Jasmine Brewer added 16 points off a 60.0 percent (6-of-10) shooting effort. The Houston, Texas native also produced six boards as well as an assist. Freshman point guard Janeicia Neely totaled eight points and three assists.
“Our energy level was not where it needed to be at the beginning of the game,” said head coach Kellie Kennedy. “It got so much better in the second half. We were able to pick up our defense, which in turn picked up our offense. We started to attack their zone so much better in the second half. It really opened some things up for us.”
An amazing 11-2 at home this season, Loyola posted its seventh 20-win season in school history. The ‘Pack has now defeated Mobile 12 of the last 13 meetings.
Prior to tipoff, head coach Kellie Kennedy and the Wolfpack nation honored this year’s LU senior class in Council and Amy Sprout. Sprout scored two points while grabbing nine rebounds.
“Our seniors led us in rebounding today, added Kennedy. “Amy defended extremely well. Even though she though she had some fouls called on her and had to sit out for a while, she gave us nine rebounds and contributed things that don’t necessarily go on the stat sheet. And Keiva just had another great game. She was ready to play. I can’t say enough good things about these seniors and what they have meant to our program.”
Mobile jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead due a balanced attack, but the ‘Pack fought its way back into the game thanks to a strong defensive effort forcing three turnovers in three consecutive Mobile possessions. Loyola then went on a 9-2 run at the 11:47 mark and took a 30-25 lead into the half off a Council three-pointer with 19 seconds remaining. It was LU’s largest lead of the day thus far.
Mobile attempted to get back in the game after the half, but Loyola continued to answer. Council knocked down four of six shots from beyond the three-point arch in the second half to energize the ‘Pack’s offense. Loyola built its largest lead of the game after a Callie McNally layup assisted by Neely with 6:38 remaining.
Directing the way for Mobile (7-21, 4-14 SSAC) were seniors Alice Honnery and Daphnee Frieson with 20 points each. Honnery also added 14 rebounds for her 16th double-double on the year. Senior Morgan Melancon contributed 11 points of her own on the afternoon.
Loyola will play next in the SSAC Tournament as the No. 2 seed in the Western Division. The ‘Pack’s tournament will tip off on Wednesday, March 1 against the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Division which currently is Emmanuel.