(New Orleans, La.) Looking to bounce back after a heart-breaking loss against No. 19 Oklahoma City University on Friday, the No. 24 Loyola University New Orleans women’s basketball team returned to First NBC Court on Monday evening to battle NCAA DIII opponent Millsaps College.
The Wolf Pack (5-2) handily defeated the Majors 84-53 but the real story of the evening was Loyola head coach Kellie Kennedy. With the convincing victory on Monday, Kennedy earned her 174 career win to surpass longtime Wolf Pack men’s basketball coach – and Loyola Hall of Famer – Jack Orsley (1940-57) as the winningest basketball coach in Loyola history.
Coach Kennedy became the all-time winningest women’s basketball coach in the history (156) of Loyola last season following a 74-55 victory over Brewton-Parker College on January 7. Entering the 2016-17 season, Kennedy sits 21st on the NAIA DI Women’s Basketball Winningest Active Coaches’ List.
The match up on the court had all the makings of a blowout early, with the Wolf Pack running out to a comfortable 15-2 advantage with 3:39 to play in the opening frame. Loyola was able to maintain the double-digit cushion for the remainder of the quarter to take the 21-10 lead after one.
The Majors (2-3) managed to cut the deficit to single digits in the second quarter with just over a minute to play, before a triple by Kylah Jones (SR/Houston, Texas) and a layup by Meghan Temple (SR/Houston, Texas) as time expired gave the home team the double-digit lead back, 37-24, heading into the locker rooms.
A jumper by Zoie Miller (JR/Frisco, Texas) at the 2:59-mark gave the Wolf Pack its largest lead of the game at 50-34 in the third. Millsaps took the punch and returned with a jab of its own by scoring the next eight straight points to trim the deficit to 50-42 with 1:02 to go in the quarter. Miller ended the third by scoring four points on her own to give Loyola the double-digit cushion back at 54-42 entering the fourth.
The fourth quarter saw the home team completely take over the game. Up 12 to start, the Wolf Pack managed to impose its will on the Majors for the entirety of the quarter, highlighted by a game-ending 10-0 spurt to hand the home team the convincing 84-53 win on Monday evening.
Loyola shot 46.3% (31-of-67) from the floor and 33.3% (8-of-24) from beyond the arc in the win. The Wolf Pack outrebounded the Majors 45-28 and Loyola’s bench dominated Millsaps’ group 33-18.
Temple’s 16 points (7-of-7) led four Wolf Pack players in double-figures on Monday night. Miller chipped in 13 points and Kaila Anthony (FR/Pflugerville, Texas) added a career-high 10 points in her second career start. Off the bench, Di’Mond Jackson (JR/Baton Rouge, La.) boasted a team-high nine boards and six assists to go along with 10 points while Jones added nine points and a team-high four steals in the victory.
Katie Conner and Brazia Jones each had 12 points for Millsaps, with Conner adding four steals and two assists.
The Wolf Pack kicks off SSAC play on Thursday, Dec. 1, on the road at Brewton-Parker. Action from Mt. Vernon is set to start at 4:30 p.m.