After kicking off its seven-game road swing with a 73-63 loss to Virginia Tech last Sunday, the Georgetown women’s basketball team heads to Minneapolis this Friday where it looks to rebound against the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Minnesota (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten) comes into the matchup with Georgetown (1-1, 0-0 Big East), having won its first two games of the season. The Golden Gophers scored an impressive 103 points in a 16-point victory over Harvard (1-1, 0-0 Ivy League). In its second contest of the season, Minnesota came away with a 79-69 win over Virginia Commonwealth University (1-1, 0-0 Atlantic Ten) on the road.
“There are different variables on the road. You don’t have your home-court advantage. You’re not in front of your fans. You have to take into consideration that you’re going into the game and the other team has a sixth man,” Georgetown head coach Natasha Adair said.
Junior guard Carlie Wagner has led the way for the Golden Gophers in both of the team’s first two games. Against Harvard, Wagner poured in a game-high 27 points, 12 of which came on three-pointers. She hit another four shots from beyond the arc in the matchup against Virginia Commonwealth University, finishing the contest with a game-high 26 points.
“[Minnesota] has players that can score,” Adair said. “We just have to make it hard for them, and that’s our defense. We have to hone in on what we drill every day, what we emphasize every day, and being consistent with it and doing it for 40 minutes.”
In addition to trying to contain Wagner, the Hoyas need to be disciplined on the boards if they are going to be successful against the Golden Gophers. Minnesota has been dominant on the glass so far this season, particularly on the offensive end. The Golden Gophers managed to convert their 17 offensive rebounds into 17 second-chance points against the Crimson. In the matchup against VCU, Minnesota turned 18 offensive rebounds into 20 second-chance points.
In the team’s first two contests, senior forward Faith Woodard and junior guard Dorothy Adomako led the way for Georgetown on the boards. In the Hoyas’ first game, Woodard and Adomako each pulled down 11 rebounds, a game-high. In the loss to Virginia Tech (3-0, 0-0 ACC), Adomako led the team with eight boards. Woodard pulled down another six.
Ultimately, Georgetown needs to work harder in the paint if the team wants to dominate the glass. Adair is confident that the Hoyas are prepared to meet the challenge.
“[Georgetown] fights … and that’s what I want,” Adair said. “I want to see the grit. I want to see the grind, the determination.”
Consistency is a major focus for Georgetown heading into the upcoming game against Minnesota. One of Adair’s mantras this season is what she refers to as “94 for 40”. The phrase is a reminder to her players that the goal is to go the full 94 feet of the basketball court for the entire 40 minutes of the game, leaving everything out on the floor. Adair has been impressed with the way her team has responded to this challenge in its first two games and has emphasized the importance of maintaining that energy while on the road.
“We have definitely displayed the ‘94 for 40’,” Adair said. “If the consistency of what we need to do is there and, if we just bring that intensity night in and night out, we will be fine.”
For senior guard Jade Martin, the road trip to Minnesota is a homecoming. Martin is from Bloomington, Minn.; a city just 20 minutes south of the University’s campus in Minneapolis. The senior was a five-year letter winner and varsity starter at John F. Kennedy High School in Bloomington.
Martin and the Hoyas take the court at Williams Arena on Friday. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.
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