A stifling defensive display and an efficient offensive performance saw the Hoyas blow out the Winthrop Eagles 73-45 in the WNIT first round for their first postseason victory under Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy’s. Georgetown (18-13, 7-9 Big East) advances to play Wake Forest (19-11, 5-9 ACC) in the second round on Sunday, while Winthrop (16-16, 9-7 Big South) sees its season come to an unceremonious end.

“It’s really exciting, especially since it’s the first time that our coach has been to postseason play,” freshman forward Latia Magee said.

Georgetown forced Winthrop into 18 first-half turnovers, many of them self-inflicted, as the Hoyas built a 35-25 halftime lead that turned into a second-half rout. Winthrop never got closer than within eight points in the second half, as Georgetown ran by them and into the second round.

“I didn’t feel that we were playing aggressive defense, and after the Big East tournament I said we need to turn this around,” Williams-Flournoy said. “Ok, we gotta get into the passing lanes, we gotta, we gotta get up and deny people, we have to turn the ball over.”

That’s exactly what the Hoyas did, grabbing eight first-half steals and forcing 27 turnovers on the game. Winthrop’s 45 points was the second-lowest total the Hoyas have surrendered all season.

The Hoyas didn’t disappoint offensively either, as the team shot 47.4 percent with four players reaching double-figures, led by Magee. With fellow freshman forward Adria Crawford sitting out for a violation of team rules, Magee got the starting nod for the first time since Big East play began and took full advantage, dropping 21 points. When Magee and junior forward Jaleesa Butler, who scored 16, weren’t outrunning the opposition, they were having their way inside against a much slower Winthrop frontline.

Sophomore guard/forward Monica McNutt and senior guard Karee Houlette, meanwhile, did their work from the outside, as they recorded 17 and 11 points, respectively. Junior guard Shanice Fuller failed to register a point but notched six assists as the architect of many of Georgetown’s transition layups.

Senior guard Yvonne van Daalen and junior forward Shanice Cole scored ten points each to lead a Winthrop squad that struggled to find its offensive rhythm and had trouble keeping up with the Hoyas in transition. Winthrop shot a respectable 40.5 percent from the field but committed 27 turnovers, which Georgetown converted into 24 points. The Eagles committed four shot-clock violations on the game and repeatedly put up poor attempts trying to beat the shot clock.

“I think they definitely played into our hands; we got out into transition, and once we start making layups everything else starts to fall for us,” McNutt said. “We just play so well when we get out into transition.”

Baseline jumpers from senior forwards Ashley Fann and Ashley Haugtvedt gave the Eagles an early 4-0 advantage, but from then on it was all Georgetown. The Hoyas answered with a 9-2 run, capped off by a three-point play from Latia Magee, to take a 9-6 lead that they never relinquished.

With Georgetown leading 18-12 and (just under six minutes) remaining, a loose ball scramble ensued on the Hoyas’ offensive end of the floor, and Shanice Fuller found Houlette for an open three from the right wing. Houlette also made a jumper on the next possession to break open the first double-digit lead of the evening at 23-12.

Several minutes later, Houlette forced another turnover and pushed the ball ahead to Rubylee Wright, whose layup gave Georgetown its largest lead of the half, 30-17. The two teams then traded baskets, with a layup from Fann closing the first half scoring at 35-25.

Although Winthrop shot 10-for-18 (55.6 percent) before intermission, it was the Eagle’s abundance of turnovers that marked the first half. In contrast, Georgetown attempted 32 field goals, making 13, while only committing 6 turnovers. The Eagles outrebounded the Hoyas 17-11 in the first half, but that was more the product of the Hoyas taking – and thus missing – more shots, as Georgetown grabbed six offensive boards to Winthrop’s three.

Georgetown used a 9-4 to start the second half to extend the lead to 44-29 before Winthrop narrowed the deficit 47-39 with 12:25 to go. Then the rout began in earnest, as the Hoyas outscored the Eagles 24-2 over the next eight minutes to take a 30-point lead and put the game away.

“The Big East style of play is a lot different than Big South style of the play,” Winthrop Head Coach Bud Childers said. “I think our team had a little bit of a tough time in the middle part of each half adjusting to that.

Now the Hoyas must put their first postseason victory behind them, as Wake Forest awaits them in less than two days. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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A stifling defensive display and an efficient offensive performance saw the Hoyas blow out the Winthrop Eagles 73-45 in the WNIT first round for their first postseason victory under Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy’s. Georgetown (18-13, 7-9 Big East) advances to play Wake Forest (19-11, 5-9 ACC) in the second round on Sunday, while Winthrop (16-16, 9-7 Big South) sees its season come to an unceremonious end.

“It’s really exciting, especially since it’s the first time that our coach has been to postseason play,” freshman forward Latia Magee said.

Georgetown forced Winthrop into 18 first-half turnovers, many of them self-inflicted, as the Hoyas built a 35-25 halftime lead that turned into a second-half rout. Winthrop never got closer than within eight points in the second half, as Georgetown ran by them and into the second round.

“I didn’t feel that we were playing aggressive defense, and after the Big East tournament I said we need to turn this around,” Williams-Flournoy said. “Ok, we gotta get into the passing lanes, we gotta, we gotta get up and deny people, we have to turn the ball over.”

That’s exactly what the Hoyas did, grabbing eight first-half steals and forcing 27 turnovers on the game. Winthrop’s 45 points was the second-lowest total the Hoyas have surrendered all season.

The Hoyas didn’t disappoint offensively either, as the team shot 47.4 percent with four players reaching double-figures, led by Magee. With fellow freshman forward Adria Crawford sitting out for a violation of team rules, Magee got the starting nod for the first time since Big East play began and took full advantage, dropping 21 points. When Magee and junior forward Jaleesa Butler, who scored 16, weren’t outrunning the opposition, they were having their way inside against a much slower Winthrop frontline.

Sophomore guard/forward Monica McNutt and senior guard Karee Houlette, meanwhile, did their work from the outside, as they recorded 17 and 11 points, respectively. Junior guard Shanice Fuller failed to register a point but notched six assists as the architect of many of Georgetown’s transition layups.

Senior guard Yvonne van Daalen and junior forward Shanice Cole scored ten points each to lead a Winthrop squad that struggled to find its offensive rhythm and had trouble keeping up with the Hoyas in transition. Winthrop shot a respectable 40.5 percent from the field but committed 27 turnovers, which Georgetown converted into 24 points. The Eagles committed four shot-clock violations on the game and repeatedly put up poor attempts trying to beat the shot clock.

“I think they definitely played into our hands; we got out into transition, and once we start making layups everything else starts to fall for us,” McNutt said. “We just play so well when we get out into transition.”

Baseline jumpers from senior forwards Ashley Fann and Ashley Haugtvedt gave the Eagles an early 4-0 advantage, but from then on it was all Georgetown. The Hoyas answered with a 9-2 run, capped off by a three-point play from Latia Magee, to take a 9-6 lead that they never relinquished.

With Georgetown leading 18-12 and (just under six minutes) remaining, a loose ball scramble ensued on the Hoyas’ offensive end of the floor, and Shanice Fuller found Houlette for an open three from the right wing. Houlette also made a jumper on the next possession to break open the first double-digit lead of the evening at 23-12.

Several minutes later, Houlette forced another turnover and pushed the ball ahead to Rubylee Wright, whose layup gave Georgetown its largest lead of the half, 30-17. The two teams then traded baskets, with a layup from Fann closing the first half scoring at 35-25.

Although Winthrop shot 10-for-18 (55.6 percent) before intermission, it was the Eagle’s abundance of turnovers that marked the first half. In contrast, Georgetown attempted 32 field goals, making 13, while only committing 6 turnovers. The Eagles outrebounded the Hoyas 17-11 in the first half, but that was more the product of the Hoyas taking – and thus missing – more shots, as Georgetown grabbed six offensive boards to Winthrop’s three.

Georgetown used a 9-4 to start the second half to extend the lead to 44-29 before Winthrop narrowed the deficit 47-39 with 12:25 to go. Then the rout began in earnest, as the Hoyas outscored the Eagles 24-2 over the next eight minutes to take a 30-point lead and put the game away.

“The Big East style of play is a lot different than Big South style of the play,” Winthrop Head Coach Bud Childers said. “I think our team had a little bit of a tough time in the middle part of each half adjusting to that.

Now the Hoyas must put their first postseason victory behind them, as Wake Forest awaits them in less than two days. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.