NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Spring Hill College women's basketball team saw its last minute rally turn a 13-point hole into a 1-point deficit with less than a minute to play, but Loyola University (La.) held on to take a 60-57 SSAC decision at The Den on Saturday afternoon.
Both the Badgers and the Wolf Pack (8-9, 5-4 SSAC West) used an up-tempo running style of play in the 1st half that resulted in a see-saw affair for the first 15 minutes of play. Loyola used a 9-to-2 spurt over the last six minutes to grab a 32-26 lead at halftime.
Loyola stayed hot in the early stages of the 2nd half and built out a 46-33 advantage with 12:32 on the clock.
Late in the game, the Spring Hill defense picked up the pressure and began to create Wolf Pack turnovers as the Badgers started to whittle away at the deficit. Sophomore point-guard Elisa VandeWaa from Spanish Fort, Ala., cut the difference down to 6-points at 50-44 with a 3-point bucket with seven minutes to play. At 5:30 senior forward Kristin Rogers of Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., brought the Badgers within two points at 52-50 with two free throws.
SHC Freshman center Leah Washington of Houma, La., connected on a layup at 1:37 to make it just a 1-point shortcoming at 58-57, but Loyola's Jasmine Brewer dropped in a 2-pointer on the other end as the Wolfpack went back up by three points with just 56 seconds remaining.
VandeWaa attempted a game-tying 3-point shot from the right side with five seconds showing, but overshot the hoop as Loyola pulled down the rebound to close out the final score.
Junior forward Sha Sha Buchanan of Mobile led the Badgers with 12 points while Washington took down 10 rebounds. Spring Hill shot 37.3% (22-59) from the field and 27.8 (5-18) from 3-point territory while suffering 20 turnovers against just three Loyola steals.
Loyola's Brewer scored game-highs with 19 points and 13 rebounds while Megen Berner also achieved a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Loyola was 36.2% (25-69) in overall shooting with a 23.5% (4-17) effort from beyond the arc. Loyola also slipped past SHC in rebounds 44-42, but the Wolfpack turned the ball over 13 times versus eight Badger steals.
The Badgers (8-11, 5-5 SSAC West) will travel to Denmark, S.C., on Monday for a nonconference match at Voorhees College (10-7) in a 4:30 p.m. tipoff.