Hampton may have defeated Georgetown 52-50 Friday night in Hampton, Va., but the Pirates didn’t do so without a little help from the Blue and Gray. An eight-point lead with 11 minutes to play was not enough for Georgetown as the Hoyas continued a pattern from last season – watching leads fade away into losses.

“We beat ourselves on Friday night. Hampton’s a good team but a lot of the things we did, like the 24 turnovers, we did to ourselves,” Georgetown Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “A lot of those turnovers were turnovers that were unforced, errors that we made like after rebounds throwing it out of bounds to the point guard.”

Hampton (2-0) kept close to Georgetown (0-1) all game, despite missing 19 of its 36 free throw attempts and shooting just .347 from the field.

Senior center Aminata Diop fouled out with 2 minutes and 30 seconds remaining and was unproductive in her 25 minutes – she scored just two points and pulled down three rebounds. “[Diop] can’t give us what she gave us,” Williams-Flournoy said. “She can’t play that many minutes and give us three rebounds. She knows that. She can do a whole lot better than how she played.”

Sophomore forward Jaleesa Butler, in her first game at power forward after spending most of last year at small forward, picked up seven rebounds from the bench to lead Georgetown. Georgetown will need that type of production from the six-foot Missourian on a consistent basis, as it lacks the size and rebounding prowess of Katrina Wheeler, who transferred to Towson at the end of last year.

“I think Jaleesa has done a great job coming in, stepping up playing the four,” senior forward Kieraah Marlow said. “We miss [Wheeler’s] size but we’re doing fine without her.”

Butler struggled on the offensive end, however, going just 1-of-7 and missing her only three-point shot.

Marlow was 7-of-14 from the field and 3-of-5 from the line. She led all scorers with 17 points.

Hampton senior guard Rachel Butler matched Marlow with 16 points of her own and contributed five assists and just one turnover on 4-of-6 shooting. Butler’s free throw gave Hampton a four-point lead with 11 seconds to play to give the Pirates a two-possession lead and the win.

While Marlow was being her usual self – she averaged 16 points per game last year – redshirt senior guard Brina Pollack found herself in a new position: starting. After playing just 13 games last year due to a leg injury, Pollack bounced back well, scoring 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting after her 10-month layoff.

“Practice the last three weeks has really prepared me for the game,” she said. “Just mentally I had to stay involved; I couldn’t get frustrated with my mistakes. I just had to stay with my team; they had my back.”

Pollack’s 2-to-7 assist-turnover ratio was not good, but the entire team was out of sync, committing 24 turnovers and handing out just seven dimes to Hampton’s 21 turnovers and 11 assists.

Every player except senior guard Kristin Heidloff had at least one turnover – even freshman forward Monica McNutt, who played just four minutes.

Sophomore guard Kenya Kirkland, a player Williams-Flournoy said would be on the floor for her energy and defense, played 38 minutes in the contest. Kirkland scored three points and had just one steal to go along with her two turnovers and three assists. But Williams-Flournoy believes it will just take some time for the sophomore to gain her bearings offensively.

“She’s always going to give you 100 percent on the defensive side of it,” Williams-Flournoy said. “We need to get her a lot more confidence on the offensive side. She gets passive on offense. It’s not that she’s not a good offensive player, it’s just not her first thought.”

Georgetown meets Gardner-Webb tonight in Boiling Springs, N.C., for a date with the Runnin’ Bulldogs at 6 p.m. The ‘Dogs won their first game of the year on Saturday, topping ontreat College 98-53. Three freshmen scored in double digits in the game and all but one player scored.

With one game out of the way and any opening-night kinks worked out after a film session, Marlow expects a different result tonight.

“We’ll come out confident, learning from the last game,” she said. “We’ll come out sharper mentally and execute, run our plays and hopefully come out with a win.”

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