Kansas City, Mo. – The 24th ranked Loyola University New Orleans women’s basketball team will take on Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) in the opening round of the 2012 NAIA Division I National Women’s Basketball Championship in Frankfort, Ky. on Thursday, March 15. Game time is scheduled for 9:45 a.m in the Frankfort Convention Center. It will be the first meeting between the two schools. The Wolfpack is the six seed in their quadrant of the bracket, while the Warriors have the three seed.
“We are excited to get an at large bid for the NAIA National Tournament. We did the things throughout the season to put ourselves in this position and we deserve to be there. Lewis-Clark State is a formidable opponent and we are excited for the opportunity to represent Loyola on the national stage,” said Loyola head coach Kellie Kennedy.
Loyola, who received one of 15 at large bids, enters the tournament with a 23-5 record, currently the highest winning percentage in the program’s history. The ‘Pack won eight of its last 10 regular-season games, including seven conference wins. Senior Keiva Council leads the ‘Pack with 22.7 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. Sophomore Jasmine Brewer averages 16.3 points and 7.4 rebounds while fellow sophomore guard Amy Moody is averaging 11.9 points and 2.5 assists per game.
Lewis-Clark is 12th in the latest NAIA poll and won the Frontier Conference for the fifth consecutive season. Freshman Brittaney Niebergall leads the Warriors averaging 19.4 points per game. Senior Kirsi Voshell adds 12.6 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per game. Senior Alyssa Fierro nearly averages a double double per game with 9.4 points and 9.8 rebounds per game respectively. Lewis-Clark enters the NAIA Tournament with a 28-4 record on the season.
Loyola is making its fifth appearance in the NAIA’s Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament, and it’s first since the 2008-09 season. The ‘Pack is 2-4 all-time in the tournament. Their last appearance was a 62-47 first round loss to Westminster in 2009. The furthest Loyola has advanced was the quarterfinals in 2008.
The winner of Thursday’s contest will take on the victor of Lubbock Christian (two seed) and LSU-Shreveport (seven seed) on Friday at 2:15 p.m.
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