Women’s basketball wins conference championship


Chelsea Gray goes up for the opening tip-off of Loyola’s Jan. 22 game against Stillman. Gray led the Wolf Pack with 13 rebounds in Loyola’s SSAC Conference Championship victory against Middle Georgia State. Photo credit: Maria Paula Marino

Brendan Heffernan

The Loyola women’s basketball team won its fifth conference championship in the last seven seasons after beating Middle Georgia State 66-48 in the SSAC championship game.

The Wolf Pack held the Knights to just 23.9% shooting from the field and they outrebounded them 62-32. Head coach Kellie Kennedy told Wolf Pack Athletics that she was proud of her team’s defensive effort.

“It didn’t feel easy at all,” said Kennedy. “Defensively, I thought we really worked together and did exactly what we had game-planned to do except we put them on the free-throw line way too much and they were able to stick around. Still, defensively, we held them to 24 percent from the floor and 21 percent from three, and that’s saying a lot.”

Sandra Cannady and Taylor Thomas led the Wolf Pack in scoring with 16 and 13 points respectively. Forward Chelsea Gray led the team with 13 rebounds and she also contributed seven points. Cannady and Thomas were each named to SSAC All-Tournament team and Cannady was named the SSAC tournament MVP.

The Wolf Pack improved its record to 20-1 overall and 11-1 in the SSAC. The team also extended its winning streak to 15 games with the conference championship victory.

The Wolf Pack earned a guaranteed bid to the NAIA National Championship Tournament with this win. The team will learn its seeding and first opponent on Thursday, March 4.