WOMEN'S BASKETBALL | Changes Needed After Blowout
Published: Friday, March 1, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 1, 2013 00:03
After a lackluster showing Tuesday in a 75-55 road loss to DePaul, the Georgetown women’s basketball team (14-13, 5-9 Big East) is looking to move on and pull out a win Saturday on Senior Day against Marquette.
“We didn’t play with enough effort [against DePaul]. Our effort wasn’t there — that’s the biggest thing,” Head Coach Keith Brown said. “All the [Big East] teams are very similar, but it comes down to who wants it more down the stretch. We could have done a better job against DePaul.”
Although the high-powered offense of the Blue Demons got off to a quick start and put the Hoyas in an early hole, Georgetown responded and closed the DePaul lead to within a few points. The Blue and Gray continued to keep pace with the Blue Demons for much of the first half, and a jumper by freshman Dominique Vitalis with 8:46 remaining in the first half closed the gap to just three at 23-20.
But DePaul responded with a three to push its lead to six, and the Blue Demons rode pressure defense and hot shooting to extend their lead to 11. The advantage sat at nine going into the half, after a late jumper by Georgetown junior forward Andrea White brought the visitors back within single digits.
DePaul’s continued ability in the second half to force Georgetown turnovers as well as its spectacular work on the glass allowed for easy baskets as the game began to slip further and further away from Brown and Co.
“We didn’t close out to their shooters well, and it was one dribble, one pass and a shot. We just are supposed to be a better defensive team than that,” Brown said. “Any time you hit 12 threes in a game, you are hot — you have a hot hand. But I think we gave up too many open looks.”
Georgetown — which forced 19 Blue Demon turnovers in its own right on the day — was led by White and senior shooting guard Sugar Rodgers, who both chipped in 17 points on the game.
“Sugar and Andrea are our best two players, [and] they played like our best two players. But it is unfortunate that we don’t get to see Sugar’s talents like we are used to seeing because she has to play [point guard],” Brown said. “But she almost had a triple-double — she is unbelievable. Both of them are playing 40 minutes. We have to get some of our younger people to step up and play better.”
Georgetown aims to put the tough road outing behind it this weekend at McDonough when it takes on Marquette (13-14, 5-9 Big East), a team that is coming off an 81-70 win over Providence on Tuesday.
The Hoyas will be honoring their three seniors Saturday, as a pregame ceremony will recognize the contributions of Rodgers as well as centers Sydney Wilson and Vanessa Moore. Brown, for one, is hoping that the occasion will spring his team to a win.
“It is one of their last home games, one of their last games at McDonough,” he said. “They have been here four years. It should mean something to them.”
Marquette has struggled with turnovers so far this season, ranking last in the Big East with 20.5 coughed up per game. The Hoyas, who are second in the Big East in steals with 11.9 per game, will look to exploit that weakness above all.
“I hope we can turn them over. We just don’t have the bodies,” Brown said, referring to his team’s shortened depth chart due to injury. “It is so hard to press the basketball when you already know that players are going to play 40 minutes. But if we can pressure them a little bit, it will help us a great deal to get some turnovers.”
With the regular season winding down, every game matters even more, especially contests like Saturday’s at home against such a beatable opponent.
“Right now, we are fighting for our seeding in the Big East,” Brown said. “We know we aren’t going to get a bye or a double bye, so now we are trying to position ourselves to win one or two games in there.
“It is important that we beat Marquette because if it comes down to tiebreakers, the head-to-head is going to be the most important thing.”
The Hoyas will take on the Golden Eagles tomorrow at McDonough Arena. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.