ROME, Ga. –The 23rd ranked Loyola University New Orleans women’s basketball team ended its stay in the 2012 Fudruckers Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament with a heartbreaking 52-54 loss to Emmanuel on Thursday in The Forum. The loss dropped the Wolfpack to 23-5 on the season, while the Lady Lions upped their overall record to 19-12.
Leading Loyola in points was senior Keiva Council with 17. The SSAC All-Conference honoree also grabbed a team high eight rebounds and added two assists. She was followed by sophomore and fellow SSAC All-Conference honoree Jasmine Brewer, who finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.
Loyola took the lead in the first few minutes of the game and stayed on top for the majority of the opening half. Later, the Wolfpack expanded its advantage to 10 at the 5:24 mark in the first stanza. Loyola shot a season low 33.3 percent (6-of-18) from the floor in the first period, but a steady 82.4 free throw percentage (14-of17) kept the ‘Pack alive as they went into the break leading 26-22.
Both teams struggled offensively to start the second half before an Emmanuel second chance layup broke the ice. After a Brewer layup, the Lady Lions went on an 8-0 run to go ahead for the first time in the game at the 13:25 mark. With 13:13 remaining, the LU tried its best to go back ahead after back-to-back Council layups to put the score at 35-36. Emmanuel forced 24 Wolfpack turnovers en route to the quarterfinal victory.
For the game, the ‘Pack was 15-of-47 (31.9 percent) from the floor, 2-of-12 from behind the arc (16.7 percent), and 20-of-32 from the free throw line (62.5 percent). In addition, Loyola only had five assists for the entire game.
Junior Kaylan Young led Emmanuel’s well-balanced offense with a game-high 19 points. She was the only Lady Lion in double-figures but every single Emmanuel player scored at least one point. Senior Ashontti Lewis led the Lady Lions on the boards with a game-high 11 boards.
Loyola must hope for an at large bid to the NAIA National Tournament to extend their season. The field of 32 teams will be announced on Wednesday.