ROME, Ga. – Keiva Council nailed a pair of free throws with four seconds left in overtime to push Loyola University’s women’s basketball team to a win over Lee University, 72-70, sending Loyola to the SSAC Tournament finals.
Council and Amy Moody each contributed 22 points in the win for LU (20-11). Jasmine Brewer added 11 points and four rebounds. McKinnon had 31 for the Flames (25-6).
After Lee got on the board first, Loyola took a one-point advantage off of a Council three-pointer. Lee recaptured the lead and stayed ahead for most of the first half. The Flames took their biggest lead of the half at 22-14 after a Brooke McKinnon field goal.
Loyola brought the score within two, as the ’Pack went on an 9-3 run. The game remained close throughout the rest of the first half, and the Flames took a 36-33 lead into the break.
Loyola kept the game within five points in the opening minutes. Megan Berner finally got the ’Pack back in the lead when she hit a shot with 12:31 on the clock, giving LU a 43-42 edge. From there, the teams would stay within two points of each other for the rest of regulation.
Down 61-60 with less than a minute on the clock, Council hit a free throw to tie up the game. The ’Pack took the lead with 22 seconds left when Moody hit a field goal. McKinnon tied up the game at 63 with four seconds remaining, and the half ended, sending the game into overtime.
Moody scored a three-pointer on LU’s first possession of overtime and followed that up with another field goal, giving Loyola the 68-65 lead with 3:07 to play. Loyola led 70-67 heading down the stretch, but Kally Eldridge hit a three with 34 seconds remaining. Council’s free throws lifted LU back into the lead with four seconds to go, and Lee failed to score again, as the Wolfpack escaped with the overtime victory.
Loyola will play in the finals of the SSAC Tournament on Saturday at 3 p.m. Central time. LU awaits the winner of Belhaven and Southern Poly in the championship game.
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