Charles Nailen/The Hoya The Hoyas beat the Friars Wednesday for their first conference victory.

The Georgetown women’s basketball team overcame a shaky first half to defeat a Big East challenger at McDonough Gymnasium, the Friars of Providence University, 79-67 Wednesday night, evening its league record to 1-1.

“I’m not surprised that we had some close calls in this game. Every game in the Big East has significant value, and it’s good that we have this win,” Head Coach Patrick Knapp said.

Both teams began with a slow start, and only when freshman forward Carmen Bruce sank a three-pointer did the two offenses begin to open up. The teams fought back and forth, exchanging the lead seven times. The largest gap in the score came with six minutes left in the first half, when two free throws put the Friars up by five, 25-20. While Georgetown fought back to even the score at 29-29, Providence outscored the home team 7-3 in the last three minutes and led 36-32 heading into the locker rooms.

“They were showing trouble with the fundamentals in the first half. They weren’t keeping balance, and they weren’t keeping the ball in front of them,” Knapp said.

Junior forward Rebekkah Brunson led the Hoyas in scoring with 14 points, while Bruce pulled her weight with eight points, going 2-for-2 beyond the three-point line. Providence sophomore guard Keisha Blackwell led the visiting team with 12 points, netting two three-pointers of her own. The Friars showed more aggression in the paint, where they outscored the Hoyas 16-10. Both teams shot a decent 46 percent for the half, but the home team looked anemic from the stripe, going 4-for-9 in free throws.

While inconsistencies riddled Georgetown’s play in the first half, the team flew out of the gates in the second half and within a minute regained the lead, refusing to relinquish it for the rest of the game. Sophomore guard Mary Lisicky opened fire with some crucial three-pointers that set the tone for the next 20 minutes. Lisicky went on to score nine of Georgetown’s first 11 points.

“After Lisicky got the points early in the second half, we concentrated on getting in down low. Brunson and [senior forward] Nok Duany got into the seams and opened it up in the paint,” Knapp said.

The Hoyas sent Providence scrambling, calling for timeouts and trying to refocus in what was becoming a losing battle. Following the lead of the band, the outnumbered Hoya supporters began to liven up.

“In the second half we figured out their defense and how they’re moving. We also concentrated more and worked harder on transitioning into our defense,” Bruce said.

While the Friars came within five points with 6:41 left on the clock, the home team asserted control over the game, widening the gap to 14 points two minutes later. Georgetown’s composure slipped slightly toward the end, while players threw careless passes and made turnovers, but Providence could not claw its way back into the game. The Hoyas walked off the court victorious, with 79-67 posted on the scoreboard.

“It’s nice to have evened out the Big East record to 1-1. We were also glad that we could come back after a tough first half and come together as a team,” Bruce said.

Georgetown players who looked lackluster in the first half suddenly burst out in the second half. Duany, held scoreless in the first half, collected nine points in the second half. Senior forward Zsuzsanna Horvath hit a hot streak, scoring six consecutive points. She concluded the game with eight total points, along with two assists, two blocks and four rebounds.

According to Horvath, her achievements show a team effort. “My teammates saw me open and gave me the ball and I was ready for it. I did well but you also have to give the guards a lot of credit.”

The team combined for an impressive 65.4 percent field goal average for the second half, and also hit 5-of-7 three-point attempts.

Brunson narrowly missed her eighth double-double of the season, netting a game-high 22 points and nine rebounds. Lisicky, coming off her six three-pointer extravaganza against Miami, hit five more and finished with 18 points and six assists. Bruce also ended the game with double-digit point totals, grabbing 14 points. Blackwell led Providence in scoring with 14 points while three other players also scored in the double-digits.

Georgetown hit 55.8 percent of their shots for the game, compared to Providence’s 45.8. The visiting team showed much more focus from the free throw line, where it hit 70 percent of its shots. The Hoyas could only muster 52.2 percent. Turnovers hurt both teams; Providence had 18 while Georgetown lost the ball 16 times.

“While there were some high points, we showed that we have a lot to work on. We can’t turn over the ball so many times and play competitively,” Knapp said.

With the win, the Hoyas move up to 9-2 for the season and 1-1 in the Big East, having fallen to Miami the weekend before in their league opener. The Friars fall to 5-7 for the season and 0-2 in the Big East.

The team has a week off before facing Ivy League foe Columbia University on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in McDonough Gymnasium, the last of five consecutive home games. The following weekend, the team heads north to Syracuse to resume league play.

Horvath said she was pleased with the result of this game, but added that she is looking forward to something bigger this season. “Wins are always good, but we have to keep working and focus on pushing to our main goal this season in the bigger games ahead.”

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