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Junior forward Jaleesa Butler

An 11-point halftime lead spelled only heartbreak for Georgetown (12-6, 2-3) Wednesday night as the Hoyas wasted a career-high 27 points from junior forward Jaleesa Butler with a second-half collapse that led to an 80-65 defeat against the visiting Marquette Golden Eagles (12-7, 3-2).

The Hoyas struggled mightily on the defensive side of the floor in the second half, repeatedly giving the Golden Eagles space for jumpers and easy lanes to the basket to give up 54 second-half points. By the end of the game, the Hoyas looked demoralized, turning the ball over 12 times after the break and giving up 21 of the final 26 points in what had been a tight battle.

arquette hit one open jumper after another in the second half, often because of lazy closing-out by the Hoya defense. After shooting only 34.8 percent in the first half, the Golden Eagles shot 69.6 percent from the floor and 85.7 percent from behind the arc in the second. Sophomore guard Angel Robinson scored 13 of her team-high 19 points in the second half. Freshman forward Jessica Pachko and senior guard Erin Monfre tallied 16 and 12 points in the second half, respectively, after both were shut out in the first half. Sophomore guard Tatiyiana McMorris also finished in the double digits, scoring 13 points for the Golden Eagles.

When asked if the team needed to work on closing out on shooters, Georgetown Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said, “No, we do it every day. It’s what we do every day. They just have to put forth the effort and get out and do it.”

“We know we could hit those shots that we were missing in the first half, and that’s what we did,” Robinson said. “We came out and made it. We just had confidence and we played as a team.”

The second half proved to be unforgiving for Georgetown’s offense.

“Foul, turnover. Foul, turnover. Foul, turnover,” Williams-Flournoy said, recounting the Hoyas’ many possessions that yielded nothing.

The first half of play had looked promising for Georgetown. The two teams opened the game evenly matched, with a three by Robinson tying the game at 9-9. From there the period was marked by several long scoring runs by both teams. Georgetown went on a 12-1 run to open up a 21-10 lead. Marquette answered with a three-pointer by McMorris, but junior guard Meredith Cox answered back with a three-pointer of her own. Cox forced a turnover on the next possession and found freshman guard Adria Crawford running down the lane for a layup to extend the lead to 26-13.

arquette answered with a 7-0 run to pull back within six, but Georgetown built the lead back up to 13 with a 7-0 run of its own, highlighted by a spectacular block from behind by freshman guard Morgan Williams on Pachko. The teams traded baskets the rest of the half, and Georgetown entered the locker room with a 37-26 lead, largely because of the play of Butler, who scored 15 first-half points on 7-of-9 shooting.

The Hoyas scored the first four points of the second half for a 41-26 lead, their biggest of the game. Then Marquette caught fire offensively, going on a 15-2 run to pull back to 43-41 with 14:10 remaining. The Golden Eagles tied it up at 51 and a Robinson three-pointer gave the Eagles a 59-57 lead – their first of the game – with 7:22 on the clock. After a pair of turnovers, senior guard Karee Houlette drew a foul from a three-pointer in the corner and hit her free throws to give the Hoyas a 60-59 lead with 6:12 left.

From there it was all downhill for the Hoyas. Marquette outscored Georgetown 21-5 down the stretch, forcing turnovers, drawing fouls and knocking down jumpers to rout the Hoyas in the final minutes.

“First half we weren’t being the aggressors,” Marquette Head Coach Terri Mitchell said. “I think the bottom line to all this is we got more aggressive.”

Some advice that the Hoyas should heed, as Georgetown will certainly need to get more aggressive if they are to bounce back from a blowout defeat that had, at one point, seemed surely theirs. The Hoyas visit South Florida (15-5, 2-4) Saturday to face off against the USF Bulls, who beat Providence 86-62 last Tuesday. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

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