Charles Nailen/The Hoya Sophomore guard Shawntese Charles (foreground) and the Hoyas fell to Providence by the narrow margin of 80-77 on Wednesday. Senior guard Katie Smrcka-Duffy scored 23 points in the loss. The Georgetown women’s basketball team began its final five-game stretch against Big East opponents on a low note, losing a heartbreaker, 80-77 at Providence on Wednesday night. Even though the Hoyas shot 53 percent from the field for the game, they committed 21 turnovers, giving Providence the edge it needed. Senior guard Katie Smrcka-Duffy led the Hoyas with 23 points, but missed two three-pointers in the closing seconds of the game. If just one had been successful, the game would have gone into overtime.

“I thought our kids played hard,” Head Coach Pat Knapp said. “We shot the ball well, but we struggled with turnovers during the game.”

For the second straight game, Knapp used a starting lineup that featured senior guards Porshia Jones and Dani Ilic, and had junior guard Lesley Walker and sophomore forward Shawntese Charles come off the bench. The change had lit a fire under the Hoyas, aiding them to a win against a tough Florida International squad last Wednesday.

On Jan. 27, Georgetown beat Providence in an overtime thriller, 71-70 at McDonough Gymnasium, and this game was no different. Both teams played neck and neck throughout the game.

The Hoyas (14-10, 5-7 Big East) were able to take an early 10-5 lead in the first half on a layup from freshman forward Rebekkah Brunson. But the Friars quickly gained a 12-10 advantage, converting on three Hoya turnovers. Smrcka-Duffy then led a 10-2 run, scoring six points in that span. Georgetown extended its lead to as many as seven points, 23-16, with 9:42 left after a three pointer by senior guard Dani Ilic.

Providence slowly reduced its deficit as Dani Trippany scored a three and two layups to cut Georgetown’s lead to two, 29-27 with 4:58 remaining in the half. After a Charles turnover, Jen Gombotz put in a layup and got fouled, giving her team the 30-29 edge after the foul shot. Both teams proceeded to exchange leads for almost four minutes, with the Friars holding the lead at halftime, 38-35.

Smrcka-Duffy and sophomore forward Zsuzanna Horvath both had 10 first-half points and the team shot 58 percent from the field. However, the Hoyas also committed 15 turnovers in the first half.

In the second half, things got even tighter between the two teams; with 15:45 remaining, Georgetown managed to take the lead, 48-47 on a three-pointer from senior forward Natalie Bourdereau. But a shot from Monique Roberts gave Providence the lead for the next seven minutes. The Hoyas did not let the Friars extend their lead by more than six as Smrcka-Duffy and Brunson helped keep things close. After Brunson converted a three-point play with 10:25 in the half to make it 61-58, she hit a layup on a fast break. Less than two minutes later, Georgetown took a 64-63 lead off a fastbreak layup from Walker.

Neither team let up, exchanging the lead five times in the next five minutes of play. At the 3:09 mark, Brooke Freeburg hit a free throw to give the Friars a 74-73 lead, which they would not relinquish. The Hoyas made it close as Walker hit two consecutive shots to narrow the gap to one, 78-77 with 18 seconds in the game. Quinn made two free throws following a foul, setting up the last-second dramatics.

With six seconds left, Smrcka-Duffy’s three-point attempt was partially blocked and went out of bounds. After calling a timeout, Georgetown once again gave it to Smrcka-Duffy with a second left for the game-tying three, but again she failed to convert.

Brunson had 15 points and 9 rebounds, stopping a streak of six consecutive double-doubles. Four Providence players scored in double figures, with Monika Roberts leading her team with 19 points.

Georgetown returns home on Saturday to face St. John’s, another sub-.500 team. Then it will face a tough two-game stretch on the road against No. 1 Notre Dame and Boston College, before its regular season finale against Rutgers at McDonough.

Related Links

 Women’s Basketball Page

 Women’s Basketball Schedule

 Women’s Basketball Roster

 Box Score vs. Providence

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