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Loyola at a Glance

Wolfpack women clinch third straight season title

February 27, 2009

The 22nd-ranked Loyola women’s basketball team claimed their third straight GCAC regular season championship, home court advantage throughout the conference tournament and an automatic berth into the NAIA National Championship Tournament with a 58-44 win over the Southern University New Orleans Lady Knights Thursday night at The Den.

Wolfpack guard/forward Trenese Smith opened the game with six straight points to give Loyola a 6-0 lead two minutes into the contest.

Loyola’s largest lead of the first period was ten points, which they got three times, the last after Trenese Smith converted a three-point play with a minute left to make it

33-23 Wolfpack. The Lady Knights finished the half with a 5-0 run, and after a Britney Williams basket, Loyola had a 33-28 lead at the break.

In the second half, SUNO cut the Wolfpack lead to as little as five points at 39-34 after Kiarra Sims made two free throws.

The Wolfpack put the game away by outscoring the Lady Knights 15-7 over the final 9:30 of the contest to seal the championship-claiming victory.

Trenese Smith picked up her first double-double on the season with a game high 24 points and 14 rebounds. Trenell Smith added 13 points in the win.

The Wolfpack (19-6, 15-2 GCAC) shot 42.2 percent (19 of 45) in the game. Neither team had a good night from outside as both squads only hit one three-pointer each in the contest.

This was Loyola’s 29th straight GCAC win at home during the regular season, a streak dating back to the Hurricane Katrina-shortened 2005-06 season.

Kiarra Sims led the way for SUNO with 16 points. Britney Williams was the only other Lady Knight in double-figure scoring with ten points.

The Wolfpack defense stepped up in the second half, holding the Lady Knights (11-13, 6-11 GCAC) to just five field goals made and 15.6 percent in the period. For the game, SUNO was 15 of 61 (24.6 percent) from the field.

The 22nd-ranked Wolfpack finish the regular season Saturday afternoon against William Carey University. Tip time for the Hall of Fame game and Senior Night between the Wolfpack and Lady Crusaders is set for 3 p.m. in The Den.

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