WOMEN'S BASKETBALL | Hoyas Seek Sunday Upset
Published: Thursday, January 26, 2012
Updated: Friday, January 27, 2012 02:01
The No. 20 Georgetown women's basketball team (16-5, 5-3 Big East) returns home this weekend to face No. 11 Rutgers (17-3, 6-1 Big East) Sunday afternoon. The Hoyas are coming off a road win at West Virginia Tuesday and hope to start another winning streak with a victory over the formidable Scarlet Knights.
The Blue and Gray have posted a disappointing 1-3 home record against league opponents this year, and Rutgers, currently ranked third in the league standings, will certainly not make things any easier. The Scarlet Knights are particularly effective on the defensive side of the ball, allowing opponents an average of only 54.3 points per game.
"Our offense is going to have to be very on-point because Rutgers is a very good defensive team," Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. "We have to make sure that everything is right. … And we always have to make our shots."
Williams-Flournoy also noted that the Scarlet Knights present a tough challenge on offense because of their unique methods of attacking a zone, so the Hoyas will have to be on top of their game on both sides of the ball.
Individually, the Scarlet Knights have been led by the duo of senior guards April Sykes and Khadijah Rushdan. Each averages over 13 points per game and nearly six rebounds per game. Junior forward-center Monique Oliver has been a force down low as well, posting 12.2 points per game and adding 7.8 rebounds per game, good for seventh-best in the conference.
Rutgers will also enter McDonough with a little bit of momentum, which will make a win even more difficult for the Hoyas. The Knights have won their last two games, knocking off South Florida last Saturday and earning a close win over No. 23 DePaul at home on Tuesday.
"[Rutgers] has some really good guards," Williams-Flournoy said. "We just have to be ready to defend them."
However, the Blue and Gray bring plenty of talent and a little momentum of their own to the table heading into Sunday's matchup. In their win against West Virginia, the Hoyas were able to elevate their play late in the game to knock off the Mountaineers — an encouraging sign after a disheartening three-point loss to No. 16 Louisville last Sunday.
Another positive development for Georgetown against West Virginia was finding consistent scoring outside of junior guard Sugar Rodgers, as senior forward Tia Magee stepped up and scored 17 points in the second half to propel the Hoyas to victory.
Rodgers, the Big East's leading scorer at just under 20 points per game, is the backbone of the Georgetown offense. As a result, teams have given her special attention all year in the form of double teams and even a box-and-one defense, which means her teammates often need to pick up the scoring slack.
"We really need to be disciplined on defense because they are a good team with a lot of threats," Rodgers said. "On offense we will continue to stick to our same principles of rebounding and sharing the ball just like we do every game."
If the Hoyas are able to upset the Scarlet Knights, the win would not only move them up in the conference standings but would also provide a morale boost in finally knocking off a top Big East rival.
"We had some very good wins early in the season, but I think this one right here would give us the signature win we need going [down the stretch]," Williams-Flournoy said.
Tipoff is set for 1:30 p.m. Sunday at McDonough Arena.