WOMEN'S BASKETBALL | GU Drops Cal Classic Final
Published: Monday, November 26, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 26, 2012 22:11
The Georgetown women’s basketball team (4-2, 0-0 Big East) turned in mixed results this past weekend in the Cal Classic, hanging on to win in the Friday semifinal against Cal State Fullerton (2-3) before falling to No. 10 California (6-0) in the finals on Saturday.
The Hoyas began their weekend with a 53-51 nail-biting win over the Titans. Despite having as much as a 21-point lead, the Blue and Gray barely managed to hold on in the closing minutes of the game.
“We didn’t play with enough energy [against Cal State Fullerton],” Head Coach Keith Brown said. “[Senior guard] Sugar [Rodgers] was having breathing problems, so the girls came out and struggled in the second half. … We won the game, but we probably should have won by a little bit more.”
Georgetown came out quickly, opening the game with a 7-2 run, but Cal State Fullerton would respond with an 11-5 run of its own to make the score 13-11. That was the closest the Titans would come in the first half, as the Hoyas dominated for the remainder of the period.
Brown’s squad took a 35-16 lead into halftime thanks in part to the phenomenal play of Rodgers, who posted 18 points in the opening 20 minutes. The Blue and Gray only held a slight 22-20 advantage in rebounds in the first half but shot 48.1 percent from the field to the Titans’16.1 percent.
Although Georgetown was dominant in the first half, the second half was a much different story. Due to Cal State Fullerton’s tightened defense, Georgetown committed several fouls and had a number of turnovers that allowed the Titans to score easy baskets on the other end.
With just under eight minutes left to play, CSF managed to close to within ten off a Georgetown turnover. A technical foul with just over six minutes remaining then sparked a 7-2 Titan run, cutting the Georgetown lead to seven.
The Titans continued to pressure the inexperienced Hoyas and came within two points with 44 seconds remaining. Fullerton had the opportunity to tie the game on the last possession, but a steal by senior center Vanessa Moore sealed the win for Georgetown despite her team being held scoreless for the final 2:49 of play.
With the win, the Hoyas advanced to the finals of the Cal Classic, where, despite multiple runs by the Hoyas, California cruised to an easy 72-56 victory.
“Cal is one of the best teams in the country,” Brown said. “Their post players are very good, and it is an older team that has been together a lot longer than us.”
The Blue and Gray managed to keep pace with the Golden Bears early on, staring down just a one-point deficit five minutes in, and a Rodgers layup tied the game at 15 with at 12:34. The two teams traded runs from there, with the end result a five-point Cal advantage at the intermission.
Entering the second half, the Hoyas carried the momentum and put the game within one on two separate occasions. But California responded with their second 9-0 run of the game, to restore the lead back to double digits.
Georgetown tried to make one last push in the closing minutes of the game — aided by back-to-back treys by Rodgers — but Cal was able to maintain control. The Bears soon opened up a 13-point lead that they extended in the final minutes, going on to win 72-56.
“I think we played extremely hard. I don’t think that the score is indicative of how close the game was,” Brown said. “We gave up too much penetration. It wasn’t that we were not physical enough — it was that we gave up so much penetration that they got dump-offs.”
Even with the loss in the championship game, Rodgers and junior forward Andrea White were named to the all-tournament team.
“Sugar is a very good player. We need the other [players] to help her a little bit more, because she is doing so much on the court,” Brown said.
The Blue and Gray’s next game will be Wednesday against La Salle at 8 p.m. in McDonough Arena.