NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Loyola University New Orleans women’s basketball team (9-1) returns to the hardwood on Saturday when it takes on the No. 16 ranked Xavier University Gold Nuggets (7-3) at 2 p.m. CT in The DEN.
Saturday’s matchup features two of the top 30 teams in the NAIA. Xavier is currently ranked 16th while Loyola is ranked 28th.
“Our team is very excited about the opportunity to play Xavier on Saturday,” said head coach Kellie Kennedy. “They have a great team and great tradition, not to mention the cross-town rivalry. It is a chance for us to see how we stack up against another nationally ranked opponent.”
Loyola continues to lead the nation in field goal percentage (49.8) as well as rank in the top 50 in the NAIA in 19 other categories including No. 5 in scoring margin (22.4), No. 5 in three-point field goal percentage (36.3), and No. 8 in scoring offense per game (80.9).
Senior guard Keiva Council continues to lead the Wolfpack as she has scored double digits in all 10 games as well as producing 20 or more points in six of those games. The Houston, Texas native is ranked nationally in the top 50 in the NAIA in six categories including No. 2 in points per game (22.4) and No. 4 in total scoring (22.4).
Last time out, Loyola defeated cross-town rival Dillard 74-49. The ‘Pack shot extremely well from the floor, hitting 53.6 percent of its attempts from the floor, 35.3 percent from behind the arch, and 90.0 percent from the free throw line. Council led the ‘Pack in scoring and rebounds with 20 points and six rebounds. Council was followed by sophomores Amy Moody and Jasmine Brewer, who added 17 and 14 points, respectively.
Xavier won its last contest, posting a 56-51 decision over Shorter on Dec. 3. Senior Brandi Young recorded a team high in scoring with 12 points. Two other Gold Nugget players generated double digit scoring numbers as senior Jasmine Grant and junior SiMon Franklin scored 10 points each. On the season, Grant leads the team in scoring averaging 9.6 points per game. She is followed by senior Keldra Hall with 9.3 points per outing and Franklin, who averages 8.9 points per game.
Tickets are available at the door, $6 for adults and $3 for children. Admission will be free for students who present their student ID.
Saturday’s game can be viewed online via livestream at http://www.livestream.com/loyolawolfpack. Fans can also follow along with live scoring by clicking here.
For up-to-date news, like Loyola Athletics on Facebook at LoyolaWolfpack, and follow all teams on twitter @LoyolaWolfpack.