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Sometimes it is just one of those nights – the wrong time to play the wrong opponent. This was the case Thursday for Georgetown College's women's basketball team.
The No. 8 Tigers (21-9) ran into an extremely hot Loyola University (22-11) in the first round of the NAIA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament. The Wolf Pack hit 93 percent from the field for the first eight minutes and were still hitting 84 percent with two minutes left to halftime. LU cooled off considerably and GC showed the heart and grit its fans have seen all season, but in the end it was free throws that were the difference in an 87-80 loss.
The two teams ended up hitting the same number of shots – 31 – and Georgetown finished with one more three-pointer (10). Loyola had eight more made free throws and a total of 13 more attempts. GC finished 8-of-12 from the line, while the Wolf Pack went 16-of-25.
Devanny King hit a layup with 4:20 remaining for a 76-76 game. LU's Janeicia Neely broke the tie with a reverse layup, and then the Wolf Pack sealed the victory from the line going 8-of-10 down the stretch.
Jessica Foster dropped a career-high 22 points to lead the Tigers. The sophomore post hit a pair of threes as Georgetown attempted to thwart the hot-handed Loyola team.
Megan Whitaker tied a team-high with 17 points, 5-of-9 from deep. She went 3-of-3 from downtown to start the game, her second giving her team a 28-19 advantage.
Kourtney Tyra seemed to have the answer early for Whittaker, hitting three straight three-pointers as well. The senior finished with 20 points and graduates as the fifth all-time leading scorer with 1,704 points. She demolished the assists record during her junior campaign and set the new GC standard at 669. The McKee, Ky. native also finished with 544 rebounds – just five shy of tying for 20th all-time in that category.
Lizza Jonas turned up the heat in the second half as the Tigers tried to rally. Both of her steals came at big moments, seeming to turn the tide. The senior finished with 17 points and concluded her career as the 15th all-time scorer (1,183), 7th all-time rebounder (719) and 6th all-time in steals (214). She is only the second Georgetown player to be on all three of these lists.
Andrea Howard struggled from the field, scoring just two points at the foul line. However, the senior grabbed seven rebounds to finish her career just two shy of 500. She is 12th all-time in scoring, tying Jayme Gilbert with 1,370 points.
Haley Armstrong continued to be the spark off the bench with nine points, 3-of-3 from three-point range. The sophomore only missed her first shot of the game, a mid-range jumper. King finished with eight points and seven rebounds. The junior is 34 points shy of 1,000 and is currently sitting 18th on the all-time rebounding list with 587.
This is only the second time the Tigers have dropped consecutive games this season and each time the first loss came to Campbellsville University.