Throughout its surprising run in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament, Georgetown shut down opposing offenses and hit timely shots. Sunday night, the Hoyas (20-14, 7-9 Big East) failed to do so, and their season ended in a 65-56 quarterfinal loss at Boston College (23-11, 7-7 ACC). Georgetown’s weakness inside was exposed as they lost the rebounding battle 48-28, and the Hoyas struggled to hit shots late in the second half.

“[Sophomore center Carolyn Swords] really hurt us with her size on the boards and I felt that we weren’t always getting position inside to box everyone else out,” Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “I think we could have done a better job of rebounding, but what really hurt us was that we allowed 20 points off of those rebounds and also had way too many fouls down low.”

Swords grabbed 10 rebounds, including seven on the offensive end of the floor, in addition to scoring a game-high 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting. But it wasn’t just Swords who beat up the Hoyas inside. Junior forward Jaleesa Butler led Georgetown with six rebounds, but five different Eagles reached that figure.

Boston College’s interior dominance was also reflected in the free-throw totals. The Eagles got to the line 25 times, making 22, whereas the Hoyas were 1-of-4 from the charity stripe. Boston College imposed its will on Georgetown in the second half, during which the Eagles shot 18-for-21 from the line.

Georgetown was able to severely limit Boston College’s opportunities from the perimeter, however. Eagle junior guard Mickel Picco hit only 2-of-19 from the floor and made 1-of-14 from behind the arc, contributing greatly to Boston College’s 5.9 percent three-point shooting.

Senior guard Karee Houlette closed out her GU career with another strong performance, a team-high 15 points on 5-for-12 shooting. Houlette’s nine first-half points kept Georgetown close at the break, when the Hoyas trailed 29-23.

Boston College ran off a 9-3 run to begin the second half, three times scoring off of offensive rebounds, to extend the lead to 38-26. The teams then traded baskets for much of the half until, with just under nine minutes remaining, the Eagles held a 51-40 advantage. The Hoyas then scored on four consecutive possessions, during which they grabbed three offensive rebounds of their own to pull back to 51-48 with 5:58 left.

Georgetown could get no closer though, as the Hoyas made only one basket over the next five minutes. When freshman guard Rubylee Wright made a trey with 29 seconds left to get back to 61-53, the game was already out of reach. The game’s final minute was nothing more than a formality, with Boston College’s ticket to the semifinals all but booked.

“We had our chances but we just didn’t execute,” Williams-Flournoy said. “I was very proud of the team for coming back in the second half. We cut it to three and had some looks at the basket, but they didn’t go in when we needed them to.”

Junior guard Shanice Fuller, sophomore guard Monica McNutt, and Wright joined Houlette in double figures, scoring 12, 10 and 10 points, respectively. Their return and the arrival of another strong recruiting class have the Hoyas already looking forward to the future.

“We are very excited about next season,” Williams-Flournoy said. “This year showed how much talent we have on the roster and our incoming freshmen will certainly add to that. Sugar [Ta’Shauna Rodgers] is playing in the McDonald’s All-American game on Wednesday and to be bringing in that caliber of player excites us. You hate to end the season in a game you could have won but the strides we took this year have really set us up for success next season.”

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