WOMEN'S BASKETBALL | Comeback Ends In Disappointment
Published: Friday, January 17, 2014
Updated: Friday, January 17, 2014 00:01
Despite streaks of brilliant play, the Georgetown women’s basketball team has struggled to play well for an entire game this season. Wednesday’s game against Providence was no exception, as the Hoyas fell to the Friars 70-61. Georgetown Head Coach Jim Lewis did not travel with the team for the game because of illness.
The Hoyas (7-10, 1-4 Big East) jumped out to an early 7-0 lead, but the Friars (6-10, 1-4 Big East) took advantage of Georgetown’s turnovers and cold shooting to quickly gain the lead.
“The difference in the game [Wednesday] was the lack of consecutive stops on our part. They had too many sustained runs,” Lewis said. “[Junior guard Tori] Rule had 19 points in the first half and almost outscored us by herself. She was just too open. It is one thing if a team or an individual is making tough contested; shots, but she was open.”
Providence built upon this momentum at the beginning of the second half and extended their lead to 21 points. The situation was similar to the one the Hoyas found themselves in against Butler — facing a daunting deficit — and for the second straight game, Georgetown went on a run.
Led by senior co-captain and forward Andrea White, who had 17 second-half points, the Hoyas went on a 17-5 run to cut the Friar advantage to just nine points with six minutes remaining.
But that was the closest the Hoyas would come. The Friars made their free throws down the stretch to seal the 70-61 win, their first victory in Big East play.
Once again, the Hoyas received strong post play from White and freshman center Natalie Butler. The duo has continually put up strong numbers for the Blue and Gray this season. Both are in the top 10 in the Big East in scoring, and Butler leads the Big East in rebounds with 13.3 a game, while White is fourth with 8.9 a game.
In the loss, White and Butler both notched double-doubles. White led Georgetown with 21 points while also grabbing 11 rebounds, while Butler had 13 points and 14 rebounds. Wednesday night marked Butler’s 14th double-double and White’s seventh on the year.
“I am happy for them, but this is a team sport,” Lewis said. “We can’t keep hanging our hat on our two post players getting double-doubles. The team has to perform at a higher level and consequently, Natalie and Andrea will perform better.”
Friar freshman guard Sarah Beal led Providence with a career-high 21 points while shooting 12-of-15 from the line.
Georgetown will look to bounce back when it travels to South Orange, N.J., to take on Seton Hall (10-5, 1-3 Big East) Saturday. The Hoyas have struggled to a 2-4 record in road games this season, while the Pirates have performed well at home, winning 9-of-11 games in South Orange this season.
On paper, however, the Pirates seem to be a good match-up for the Hoyas. Seton Hall, like Georgetown, is not a three-point shooting team and averages less than 12 points a game from three. That will come as a relief for the Blue and Gray, who have allowed their opponents to average more than 21 points from three per game.
“We talked about the opportunity we have in front of us to get on a roll,” Lewis said. “One game can propel us in a lot of good directions. Getting our first Big East road win [against Seton Hall] will be challenging, but it is doable.”
Although Georgetown is a team that relies on its post play, its guards are capable of significantly contributing, according to Lewis.
“For our team, the balance is more with the frontcourt — our 3, 4 and 5 position players,” Lewis said. “But that doesn’t mean that is how the team should score and the game should unfold. When situations present themselves and when [guards] have sopportunities they have to take advantage of them.”
Furthermore, Georgetown will need to take better care of the ball. The Hoyas are averaging 20 turnovers a game, which is the worst in the Big East. Not only are the turnovers wasted opportunities, they have given opponents easy baskets in transition all season, according to Lewis.
“[Against Providence] it was a function of us not taking care of the ball,” Lewis said. “They ran it out and got out on transition. Rule ran out into the corner and they found her in the corner and she shot and made buckets.”
Defensively, the Hoyas will look to contain junior guard Ka-Deidre Simmons, who is averaging 15.9 points a game this season for the Pirates. Simmons is a threat off of the dribble and will look to penetrate the Georgetown defense. Although she leads her team in scoring, she is a skilled passer in the paint, averaging a team-high 5.9 assists a game.
Although Seton Hall is a formidable opponent, if Georgetown can play well for the entirety of the game, it stand a chance to pull off the upset. Tipoff is Saturday at 2 p.m.