WOMEN'S BASKETBALL | GU Squeezes by UC In See-Saw Affair
Published: Friday, February 1, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 1, 2013 00:02
The Georgetown women’s basketball team (13-8, 4-4 Big East) traded leads eight times with the Cincinnati Bearcats (8-12, 0-7 Big East) before pulling off a thrilling two-point win on Tuesday night.
The Blue and Gray jumped to an early lead in the first half by shutting out the Bearcats for the opening five minutes of the game before the visitors hit their stride from three-point range and began to close the gap. The Hoyas’ defense struggled from that point on to neutralize the Cincy threat from beyond the arc in the first half, although Head Coach Keith Brown was pleased with the way his squad adjusted in that regard in the second half.
“With us, it’s just about getting to the shooters,” Brown said. “We can’t be lazy on defense, and I tell them that all the time. We just had some missed assignments in the first half.”
Thanks to a couple of free throws by senior guard Sugar Rodgers, the Blue and Gray entered halftime with a 29-24 lead, but the Bearcats quickly erased that advantage after the break, firing on all cylinders en route to a 10-0 run.
Brown knew that Rodgers needed to slow down and make better shot selections if the Hoyas were going to regain their composure.
“I sat down and said, ‘Sugar, you’re pressing.’ Any time you see her take a jump shot and it goes across the basket, she’s pressing,” Brown said. “But defensively we are always going to stay in games. If we don’t let it get out of hand, we knew we had the capability of coming back and getting into the game.”
Two ensuing Hoya baskets cut the Bearcats’ lead to one point, but Cincy heard the footsteps and thrived under the pressure, seemingly unable to miss from beyond the arc. Still, thanks to a strong team effort from double-digit scorers Rodgers, senior center Sydney Wilson, junior forward Andrea White and sophomore forward Brittney Horne, the Blue and Gray managed to hold on and hang around.
Horne especially stepped up to the challenge, draining back-to-back treys to put her team up by two with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game.
Brown was pleased with his team’s production on offense, but he noted that the defense could have been stronger.
“Brittney has definitely stepped up on the offensive end, especially when she has 15 points,” Brown said. “But I have a philosophy that if we have four kids with double figures, we should be winning by 20.”
Both teams played aggressive, physical basketball down the stretch, but the Hoyas shored up their defense in the final minutes to claim the victory. Senior forward Vanessa Moore grabbed a critical rebound in the waning seconds to seal the victory for the Blue and Gray.
“All those kids had double figures, but [Moore] was my MVP because our philosophy is defend, rebound and share the ball. She went and got that rebound, and she was smart enough to call the [timeout] so we could keep the ball.” Brown said.
The victory was a confidence boost for the Hoyas as they prepare for their next game on Saturday against the No. 12 Louisville Cardinals.
“This shows that we are getting better at closing games,” Brown said. “Earlier this season we may have lost this game. We’re going to need a lot of confidence going into Louisville. This game shows that if we stick together, we have a chance to win.”