Women’s basketball wins regular season title


Maria DiFelice

Senior guard Tay Cannon shoots a shot against Spring Hill College on Feb. 14, 2023.

Jane Wright, Staff Writer

As the 2023 women’s basketball regular season nears the national tournament, Loyola’s team has high hopes for the final outcome this time around.

The Wolf Pack started the season 16-0, the best start in school history, but as of late, the games have gotten more competitive.

“I think in the beginning, teams weren’t after us because we didn’t prove anything,” said fifth-year senior guard Tay Cannon. “I feel like now we’re proving ourselves so teams are giving us their best every night.”

The Wolf Pack has outscored their opponents by an average of 25 points this year and has 491 assists this season, while opponents have 327 against them.

“We’re team players. We love to share the ball. That’s what makes us a good team, so we just want to keep that going on the way to the championship,” said fifth-year senior guard and this season’s Southern States Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Kennedy Hansberry.

Last year’s team had a strong start similar to the one this year, but the players and those around them said they believe this is the year they take the trophy back to New Orleans.

“They were good last year but this is definitely the best that I’ve seen this group specifically since I got here six years ago,” said Jason Quigley, the play-by-play commentator for Loyola sports.

Last season ended with a loss in the opening round of the playoffs, which left the team with a sour taste in their mouths.

“I think as much as we love the boys and supported them, it was really hard to see them keep going with their season, and we were done, so that motivated us to get after it,” said junior guard Jazmene McMillan.

Multiple players have returned to the court who have played together for over three years. This year, senior forward Sandra Cannady is averaging double figures in points and rebounds and her efforts have earned her SSAC Player of the Year this season.

The Wolf Pack also has three active players that have reached the 1,000-point mark in their careers in Cannon, Hansberry, and Taylor Thomas. While the individual accolades are fun to keep up with, this team’s focus is on bigger things.

“We want to end on a dub, and the only way to do that is to go all the way,” McMillan said.

The Wolf Pack clinched the regular season title and earned the No. 1 seed in the SSAC Conference Tournament, but fell to Faulkner University in the championship game.

The team will be back in action in the National Association Intercollegiate Athletics National Tournament on March 7 when they host the regional competition here at The Den.