Georgetown started and finished its game in Boiling Springs, N.C., hot, but a cool spell in the middle nearly cost the Hoyas the game.

Georgetown (1-1) downed Gardner-Webb (1-1) 72-63 in North Carolina Tuesday night. Behind another 17-point game from senior forward Kieraah Marlow, the Hoyas led by as many as 14 in the first half before allowing the Runnin’ Bulldogs to tie the game at 48 with 13 minutes and 19 seconds left in the second half.

In past games, Georgetown watched early leads fade away. But against Gardner-Webb, the Hoyas responded, ripping off 17 points in a row to shut the door on the Bulldogs.

“We went on a run mainly because of our defense,” Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “We got some defensive stops and that let us get ahead. We were patient on offense, and that let us get good looks at the basket.”

According to senior guard Kristin Heidloff, the team responded differently than after squandering a lead at Hampton.

“I think we stepped up our intensity which is something we might not have done as much as we could have in the Hampton game,” she said. “But I think with Gardner-Webb we were a different team, we had a lot more energy, a lot more intensity. We were getting the loose balls, we were getting the big rebounds and that made the difference in the game.”

For the second-straight game, sophomore forward Jaleesa Butler led the team in boards, this time with nine. The converted guard/forward has been forced to the four position this season for the undersized Hoyas and has adapted her guard-oriented skill set to the low post.

“I’ve been adjusting well to the four spot because it opens up a lot for me,” Butler said. “Coming from the guard position, not many post players can guard me outside around the perimeter. I can take my man on the dribble drive.and I still like to slash a lot.”

In Georgetown’s offensive scheme, there is not a big shift from the three to the four position: Williams-Flournoy does not expect Butler to post up true power forwards.

“She can still step out and take the shot. She can still drive to the basket,” Williams-Flournoy said. “Our four isn’t really a post-up four, block-type person so it gives her a little more freedom to move around.”

While Georgetown was able to close out its opponent with a balanced scoring attack – four players had at least eight points – the Runnin’ Bulldogs relied heavily on freshman guard Monique Hudson’s 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting.

Outside of Marlow, Georgetown has found a second consistent scoring threat in senior guard Brina Pollack. The Purdue transfer missed most of last season with a leg injury but has started both games this season, shooting 9-of-15 from the field this season.

Last season, a combination of senior center Aminata Diop, Katrina Wheeler and Kate Carlin (COL ’07) alternated as offensive threats but none consistently turned in double-digit performances.

“To be completely honest I came hoping just to help in any way, help my teammates get better,” Pollack said. “I wasn’t exactly expecting to start, but things fell into place and I can’t ask for more right now.”

Georgetown plays host to American tonight in McDonough Gymnasium. The Hoyas have won six straight games against the Eagles, including a 65-56 win last December. Tip off is set for 7:30 p.m.

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