Hoyas Blow Away Hurricanes

Smrcka-Duffy Scores 26

By Michael Medici Hoya Staff Writer

Going into the Miami game, Georgetown women’s basketball head coach Patrick Knapp knew his team would have to match the Hurricanes’ intensity in order to have a chance to get a Big East victory on the road.

And match they did. Georgetown out-rebounded Miami 46-32, out-scored them 26-16 in the paint, and forced the Hurricanes to shoot a lowly 32.2 percent from the field en route to a 69-51 victory.

“We did a great job defensively and on the boards,” Knapp said. “We had guards helping, posts helping, everyone on the court fulfilled their goal.”

The Hoyas now sit in sixth place in the Big East with a 11-8 record overall and a 5-6 mark in conference.

The Hoyas were led once again by their leading scorer, sophomore guard Katie Smrcka-Duffy, who dropped 20 points in the second half for a game-high total of 26.

The Hoyas got off to an auspicious start, trailing 7-0 after two minutes of play. Then senior guard Melba Chambers, who finished with 18 points and seven rebounds, scored six points in three and a half minutes, igniting a 11-4 Hoya run that tied the game. Senior forward Sylita Thomas, who tallied 11 points and nine rebounds on the night, scored on the next possession to give Georgetown the lead, and they led for the rest of the way.

The rest of the half was played evenly, as Georgetown took a three-point lead into the break even though Miami shot just 28 percent in the half.

Coming out of the break, the Hoyas looked to take over by getting the ball to their scorers, and they were successful. From the 11:37 mark to 7:52, the Hoyas went on a 9-0 run that broke the Hurricanes back. Smrcka-Duffy shot 7-for-11 in the half, and Chambers added 11 in the second frame to lead the Hoyas away.

“You have to give Katie a lot of credit,” Knapp said. “We kept going to her, and she got some high percentage shots. Melba really helped us breakaway.”

Over one stretch in the second half that lasted four minutes, Chambers landed four field goals.

“We played confidently, we got down 7-0, but I wasn’t worried, and they didn’t seem worried on the court. There is some consistency growing here.”

Coach Knapp said he was pleased with the leadership of his seniors, including forward Katie Heindel, who again gave quality minutes by scoring 11 points and grabbing three rebounds.

Putting this game on top of the Seton Hall and Rutgers efforts, the Hoyas have now played three good games in a row, and have the opportunity to craft a good record for themselves with the games remaining on their schedule.

Coach Knapp, although pleased with the effort of his team in these past few games and in practice, tempers his thoughts of success with those of improvement.

Yes, he’s quick to praise Smrcka-Duffy for her leadership and production (first on team in scoring and free throw percentage and second in rebounding), but he’s just as quick to emphasize the need for betterment on the defensive end of the floor.

“I don’t think anyone would begrudge the fact that, not only is she the hardest worker on the team, she is the hardest worker in the league,” Knapp said. “There are certain aspects that need improvement.”

So, with improvement in mind, the Hoyas travel to Syracuse to do battle with the Orangewomen on Saturday in a crucial Big East road match-up.

“They are young and very energetic, they shoot well and they score a lot of points,” Knapp said.

If Georgetown wins and Villanova loses at Providence this weekend, the Hoyas could find themselves in fifth place in the conference.

 

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