NEW ORLEANS, La. – Senior Rachael Nolan scored a career-high 22 points to lead the Loyola University New Orleans women’s basketball team to a 70-59 victory over Wiley College on Monday night at The Den.
Nolan connected of 9 of 13 from the field for the night which included two three-pointers in the first period as Loyola (6-1) took a commanding 39-26 lead into halftime. Wiley would make a late run to cut the deficit to five points, but LU went on to improve to 2-0 at home with the victory.
Junior Keiva Council finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, and tied her career-high with eight assists. As a team, the Wolfpack racked up 21 assists on 26 field goals with sophomore Molly Emig adding seven.
Loyola shot 50 percent (26 of 52) from the floor and 71 percent (15 of 21) at the line. The Wolfpack out rebounded the Lady Wildcats 32-30.
Wiley (1-4) was held to 44 percent (26 of 59) shooting and 9.1 percent (1 of 11) from behind the arc. LU forced Wiley into 26 turnovers with Emig recording four steals.
In the game, Nolan’s first three broke an 8-8 tie and then added another at the 12:21 mark to put the ‘Pack up 19-10. The Wolfpack extended the advantage to double digits and grabbed their largest lead of the half, 38-24, after a pair of free throws from sophomore Megen Berner just before intermission.
The Wolfpack dominated the opening of the second stanza, outscoring Wiley 15-6 in the first seven minutes. A three-pointer from sophomore Jackie Padilla put Loyola up 50-30 before an Emig steal led to a basket by Council, giving the Maroon and Gold a 54-30 advantage.
The Lady Wildcats clawed back, shrinking the deficit to 61-56 after a 7-0 run with 3:30 left. Brittany Smith-Banks sparked the run with a basket and one, and then Christina Kincade pulled Wiley within five on a field goal.
With less than two minutes remaining, Emig found Nolan for a bucket to put the score at 65-58. Wiley would only add one free throw down the stretch as the ‘Pack went on to win 70-59.
Loyola had 20 points from the bench, led by freshman Jasmine Brewer with nine and Berner with eight. Brewer also chipped in with six rebounds.
Wiley had one player in double-figures in Gabrielle Duffy with 10 points. Smith-Banks added nine points while Fredrica Hutchinson and Kyniddia Purdy had eight each.
Loyola is back in action on Saturday, Nov. 27 in Columbia, Missouri when they take on No. 23 Columbia College. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m.