On to the Next One
Georgetown 79, Maryland 57
Published: Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 22:03
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Fifth-seeded Georgetown (24-10) defeated fourth-seeded Maryland (24-8), 79-57, Tuesday night in College Park, Md., to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1993.
"I'm so happy," senior guard Monica McNutt said. "We came out with an agenda. We thoroughly believe in ourselves and for some reason we keep hearing people don't believe in us and don't take us seriously. … We had a chip on our shoulders and had something to prove."
"For so many people to doubt us, it gives us a reason to prove our doubters wrong," Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy added. "But it goes back to what we always tell [our players] — believe in God and believe in yourself, and everything else will follow."
The Hoyas dismantled the Terrapins from the start, scoring the first 11 points of the contest on two threes and a layup by sophomore guard Sugar Rodgers and a three by McNutt.
"I really emphasized that we had to get a good start," Williams-Flournoy said. "We were playing on Maryland's home court. In order for us to feel confident in what we were doing and to play as well as we needed to play … we had to jump on them right away."
During the opening run, Maryland also lost forward Diandra Tchatchouang for the game to a significant knee injury.
Despite the setback, Maryland answered with a 14-3 run of its own to knot the score at 14. But that was the only tie of the game, as a three-pointer by Rodgers with 10:21 left in the half broke the deadlock for good.
The Hoyas led by as many as 16 late in the half before settling for a 40-26 lead at the break. The Blue and Gray, led by Rodgers' 21 first-half points on 7-of-11 shooting and 6-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc, shot 50 percent in the first stanza and made two-thirds of their three-point attempts. Georgetown also held Maryland to just 29.6 percent shooting and won the turnover battle in the first half, 11-8.
"The thing with Sugar is that when she's on, it really doesn't matter what anybody does," Williams-Flournoy said. "You can't stop her. She gets in a zone. She could shoot it with her eyes closed. She's unbelievable."
The Hoyas began the second stanza on a 9-2 run that featured a trio of threes, giving them a 51-28 advantage with 16:32 to play.
"In the game of basketball, [a 14-point lead] goes extremely quick," Williams-Flournoy said. "We had to remind them again [at halftime] — first four minutes. Let's get on them again, let's see if we can get back into our rhythm and let's see if we can get them rattled."
While the Blue and Gray shot only 29.2 percent from the field in the second half, they hit 22 of 24 free throws, led by junior guard Rubylee Wright's perfect 12-of-12 performance from the line.
Overall, Rodgers led all scorers with a career-high 34 points on 10-of-16 shooting, including 7-of-10 from three-point range. She also added a team-high nine rebounds with four assists, two blocks and two steals. McNutt and Wright each contributed 14 points, and junior guard Alexa Roche added 10 points off the bench on 3-of-4 shooting.
Maryland freshman forward Alyssa Thomas led the way for the Terrapins with 23 points on 6-of-17 shooting with a game-high 14 rebounds. Junior center Lynetta Kizer also had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Despite being outrebounded 63-44 in the teams' first meeting on Nov. 16, the undersized Hoyas were only outrebounded 40-38 Tuesday night.
"At this point, it's about our will to win," McNutt added. "If all it is for us to win is rebounding, we can make a commitment to get that done."
Georgetown's victory sends them to Philadelphia this weekend for a Sweet 16 clash with No. 1 overall seed Connecticut (34-1). Tip-off is set for noon Sunday at the Liacouras Center.