Georgetown Bows Out in Semis

Loss to UConn Follows Wins Against BC, Pitt

By Michael Medici and Sarah Walsh Hoya Staff Writers


Going into the Big East tournament this past weekend with a 16-10 record overall, the Georgetown women’s basketball team needed, according to head coach Patrick Knapp, two more wins to make themselves attractive to postseason tournament selection committees.

Georgetown got their two wins in the first two rounds of the tournament before being decisively beaten by No.5-ranked Connecticut 72-55 Monday night. This marks the Hoyas third loss this season to the Huskies this season, and puts their hopes for a postseason berth in limbo.

Connecticut effectively shut down Georgetown’s offense, giving the Hoyas their lowest scoring game of the season. The Hoyas also had 21 turnovers, half the amount of their 42-point score. The Huskies also had just 25 rebounds, half of the Huskies 50-rebound total.

Sophomore guard Katie Smrcka-Duffy, the Big East’s leader in scoring (20 ppg), was held to just 10 points, one of her lowest contributions of the season. Two weeks ago, Smrcka-Duffy was held to nine points in the Hoyas’ 82-55 loss to the Huskies

On the defensive end, the Hoyas kept forward Svetlana Abrosimova, the Big East’s second highest scorer (17.5 ppg), to just four points. The other Huskies stepped up to take her place though, soundly beating the Hoyas. The Huskies benefited from a 16-point game from guard Shea Ralph , last week’s Big East Player of the Week. Connecticut made 18 of their 35 field goals in the first half, including 5 three-pointers, and took a 42-20 lead at the half.

The difference in bench contribution also had an important impact on the game. Connecticut’s bench combined for 32 points, while the Georgetown bench had just 10 points.

In the first round of the tournament on Saturday, Georgetown beat Pittsburgh for the third time this season, handing the No. 12 seed a 70-52 loss. The Hoyas then moved on to play Boston College in the quarterfinals on Sunday, and beat the fourth seeded Eagles 64-59 in the only upset of the weekend.

The loss to Connecticut overshadowed the Hoyas’ first two wins in the tournament.

On Saturday against Pittsburgh, Georgetown senior forward Katie Heindel stepped up in a big way, scoring a game-high 19 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, six of them on the offensive end. The Hoyas took a 28-25 lead into halftime, but played much better in the second half, outscoring the Panthers 42-27 in the half.

Smrcka-Duffy, playing in her first Big East Tournament game, scored 17 on six-for-20 shooting. Senior captain Sylita Thomas added 12 points, and led all rebounders with 13. Senior Melba Chambers played solid as well, scoring 11 points to go along with eight rebounds.

Georgetown played excellent perimeter defense and maintained presence inside, holding the Pittsburgh to just one three pointer in the game and out-rebounding them 29-28.

On Sunday, the Hoyas had revenge on their mind, looking to avenge a 75-66 loss to the Eagles of Boston College in Chestnut Hill Jan. 10.

Georgetown got off to a fast start, taking a commanding 41-24 lead into halftime. The Hoyas were hot, hitting on 45 percent of their shots, compared to the Eagles 39 percent. Georgetown proved to be too balanced inside-and-out throughout the game, as Chambers and Smrcka-Duffy led the way on the outside with Thomas getting room on the inside. Smrcka-Duffy and Chambers both had 19 points, with Thomas adding 16 and grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds. Heindel played well again with 10 rebounds and four points.

Although the Eagles did make a run in the second half, led by Alissa Murphy, who had 18 points, the Hoyas hung on for the five-point upset win.


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