Flying Queens secure milestone 1,700th victory

1700-win banner presentation before 11/20 game

Flying Queens secure milestone 1,700th victory


photo: Claudia Lusk


The first-ever meeting between Wayland Baptist and Loyola University (La.) in women’s basketball wound up being an historic occasion for the Flying Queens.
The winningest collegiate women’s basketball program in the nation picked up its milestone 1,700th win Thursday night in Hutcherson Center, coming away with a hard-earned 76-71 victory over the Wolf Pack on the first day of the 2021 Queens Classic.
“They are a really good team, no doubt one of the best in the country. It was a very difficult match up for us,” Wayland coach Jason Cooper said after posing with post-game, 1,700th-win pictures with his team, fans and former Flying Queens players and coaches.
A strong finish by the eighth-ranked, undefeated Flying Queens (5-0) secured the triumph as Wayland used a late 10-2 run to break a 65-65 tie against No. 23 Loyola, which was making its season-opener.
“They were a hard to team to prepare for. This being their first game, that meant we had no video and were relying on best guesses on some things. That’s tough and we knew they had four games of data on us. We were ready for the big picture that there were going to bring, but we had to dig deep and make several key adjustments on the fly.”
New Flying Queen Fapou Semebene hit both of her two field goals during the win-clinching run, while all-Americans Jenna Cooper and Kaylee Edgemon added a pair of clutch free throws apiece. Another new face, senior point-guard Angel Hayden, came up with numerous key offensive rebounds in addition to a bucket down the stretch.
Edgemon ended with 22 points while Cooper got 18 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Hayden, meanwhile, produced 13 points and 13 boards (eight offensive) in addition to her five assists.
“We once again got great all-around performances by Kaylee, Jenna and Angel. That trio may be the best around. They really work well together,” Coach Cooper said. “Jenna is solid and always puts up great numbers in points, rebounds and assists, and tonight she found Edge on the inside and out for some big buckets. Edge is playing great basketball.  She’s been spending a lot of time shooting and tonight finally her 3s were on point (3-of-4). She is a much-improved and much more dynamic scorer this year.
“Angel just does whatever needs to be done to win. She sacrifices her body every game and has such an uncanny way of getting the ball at the most crucial moments in the game. Whether it’s a rebound, a steal or a jump ball, she is going to be close to the action.”
Ashlyn Shelley tacked on eight points, Semebene six, Taryn Shultz five and Lara Mason two.
“Fapou came in and gave some great minutes and grabbed some big boards and had a few key defensive plays,” Cooper said. “Taryn had a big night. It was her best all-around game. She is improving every day.”
Wayland didn’t have a particularly strong shooting night, hitting just 33 percent (22-of-66), and suffered 23 turnovers. But the Queens nailed 10 3s, sank 20-of-23 free throws and, maybe most importantly, out-rebounded the Wolf Pack, 52-35, including 24-14 on the offensive end.
Loyola was led by Tay Cannon, who got 22 points and nine rebounds. Kennedy Hansberry added 15 points.
“In the first half we had no answer for Cannon. She is a very special player. She had 16 at half and was our focus during halftime adjustments,” Cooper said. “We did a great job on her in the second half, limiting her to six points. But that focus led to a couple of other players getting easy buckets.” 
The Queens Classic – featuring a single game each day of the three-day, three-team event – continues Friday when Loyola takes on Our Lady of the Lake at 4 p.m. The Flying Queens are back on the floor at 2 p.m. Saturday to face OLLU as they look for win No. 1,701.
Win No. 1,700 will be celebrated on Nov. 20 when the Queens host Mid-America Christian at 2 p.m. in the Hutch. Those festivities will include a pregame unveiling of a 1,700 wins banner, among other celebrations.

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