Loyola used a decisive second-half run, turning a six-point deficit into a 11-point lead, and never looked back en route to a 69-62 victory over Faulkner Saturday afternoon in a crucial Southern States Athletic Conference West Division showdown at Tine Davis Gymnasium.
A Sonja Vuong basket with 13:21 left in the game put Faulkner on top 43-37, but Jackie Padilla and Keiva Council sparked a 14-0 run that put the Wolfpack in charge. The lead grew to 62-51 with 3:48 left in the game, and the Lady Eagles could get no closer than six the rest of the way.
The loss marred another dominant performance from Faulkner's Brittney Carter, who finished with 25 points and 21 rebounds. Faulkner (18-7, 4-4 SSAC West) falls into fourth place in its division with the setback, while Loyola (17-8, 5-3 SSAC West) climbs into second with the road victory. Council had 15 points for the Wolfpack, who also got 13 from Jasmine Brewer and 12 from Padilla. For the game Loyola shot 34 free throws to just 13 for Faulkner, outscoring the Lady Eagles by 17 from the line.
"You have to give Loyola credit for coming into our gym, being more aggressive, and getting to the line 21 more times than us," Faulkner head coach Reed Sutton said. "We got outplayed and outcoached, and we had no answers in the second half for their ability to attack the basket. They are a good team and they deserved the win."
The teams traded 10-point runs in the first half, with the Wolfpack's stretch allowing them to build a 28-22 lead with 2:09 to play in the opening 20 minutes. An Alyssa Hargett 3-pointer brought Faulkner back to within 30-27 at the break.
Faulkner travels to Mobile Thursday night to face Spring Hill. The game tips off at 5:30.