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Loyola Women Open NAIA National Tourney on Thursday

Loyola press release - March 14, 2007

Loyola Women Open NAIA National Tourney on Thursday

New Orleans, La.- The Loyola women’s basketball team will face Southern Nazarene (Okla.) on Thursday, March 15th in the first round of the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship. Tip off is scheduled for 8 p.m. in the Oman Arena in Jackson, Tennessee.

Live tournament action can be viewed via video streaming on the internet at http://naia.xosnetwork.com//liveEvents/liveEvents.dbml?db_oem_id=5901. There is a subscription fee of $7.95 per game. Live stats are available for free at http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/Webcasts.aspx?association=10.

The Wolfpack (25-8) is riding the wave of a 17 game win streak and is ranked 21st in the latest NAIA women’s basketball poll. They are a six seed in the tournament.

Loyola is led by the GCAC’s Player and Freshman of the Year, Trenese Smith. Smith, a freshman forward from LaPlace, ranks fifth in the NAIA in three-point percentage, hitting on 44.5% of her shots from behind the arc. She also leads the conference and ranks 17th in the NAIA in points per game, averaging 17.6 points per contest on 43.3% shooting. She broke the Loyola single-season record for points scored with 582 points this season. She also owns Loyola’s single season free throw record, hitting 204 from the charity stripe, breaking the old record of 141. Trenese Smith has also scored in double figures in 23 straight games.

Trenell Smith, Trenese’s twin sister, was also named to the All-GCAC team. Trenell is averaging 13.9 points per game on 53.9% shooting. She scored a career high 26 points in the Wolfpack’s GCAC semifinal victory over Mobile. She currently stands fifth on Loyola’s single-season points scored list, having scored 458 points heading into the National Tournament.

Kiely Schork, a junior guard from Burlingame, California, earned her second selection to the All-Conference team with her play during the 2006-07 season. She averages 11.2 points per game. The most prolific three point shooter in Loyola history has hit 93 treys this season.

Southern Nazarene is ranked 16th in the NAIA. The Crimson Storm recently won the Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament and enters the NAIA National Tournament as a three seed. Khady Ngom is their leading scorer this season. The senior guard from Dakar, Senegal is averaging 16.5 points per game.

This is the second time that the Loyola women’s basketball team has qualified for the NAIA National Tournament. Loyola lost to Southern Nazarene 86-55 in the first round of the 2004-05 tournament. It was the only meeting between the two schools.Helpful links:http://wolfpack.loyno.edu