WOMEN'S BASKETBALL | Rodgers Slowed in Road Loss to Knights
Published: Friday, January 25, 2013
Updated: Friday, January 25, 2013 01:01
Every player is subject to an off night — when the shots don’t fall and nothing seems to go right. Unfortunately, when senior shooting guard Sugar Rodgers has those kinds of nights, the whole Georgetown women’s basketball team tends to struggle, as was the case this week.
With Rodgers notching 13 points on 3-of-20 shooting, Georgetown (11-8, 2-4 Big East) fell to Rutgers (11-7, 2-3 Big East) 55-47 Tuesday in Piscataway, N.J. The Hoyas, coming off of a 70-50 win over Seton Hall on Saturday, were unable to overcome cold shooting late and, with the loss, fell to 1-4 in their last five games.
“Going into the game, we thought that we had the opportunity to win. We knew it was going to be a tough defensive game,” Head Coach Keith Brown said. “In the last four years we have split. It came down to which team executed well, and [this time] I think they [executed] a little better than us.”
The Scarlet Knights opened the scoring off an early layup, but the Blue and Gray quickly answered with a layup by sophomore forward Brittany Horne. Georgetown and Rutgers then continued to go basket-for-basket from there until just under five minutes remained in the first half.
That trend was bucked at the close of the period, as the Scarlet Knights — led by sophomore guard Shakena Richardson — closed things out on a 9-3 run to give themselves a 24-16 lead at the break.
The Blue and Gray struggled from the field in the first half, only managing a paltry 19.2 percent shooting. Rodgers, the Big East’s leading scorer, was especially cold, as she shot 14.3 percent while scoring just six points.
“I think Sugar was off. … What we have to have happen is [for] the other girls [to] step up to take the pressure off of Sugar so they can’t load up. [Junior forward] Andrea [White] got into foul trouble early, and that hurt us because she is our second-leading scorer,” Brown said. “We need Andrea to step up and give us that double-double, and what that does is take the pressure off of Sugar.”
Georgetown opened the first half relatively slow in falling behind by as many as 12 points, but a trey by Rodgers would soon enough spark an awakening. Following a 15-5 run, the Hoyas found themselves within two.
The Scarlet Knights, though, followed with a run of their own and quickly built an eight-point lead with a little over five minutes remaining. The Blue and Gray crawled back within four points with just under two minutes left when junior guard Samisha Powell connected on the first of two free throw attempts.
A 7-3 Rutgers closing run made that as close as Georgetown would get.
“There were a lot of fouls called. We had trouble getting the ball onto our end of the court, so it was either they got a rebound or they called a foul,” Brown said. “When you get into the bonus [like Rutgers did], a team has the opportunity to score every single time. So I just think for that stretch of about four minutes, it seemed that the ball stayed on their half of the floor.”
In addition to being outscored by Rutgers in the paint by a count of 20-12, Georgetown’s bench was also outmatched, scraping together only eight points to the Scarlet Knights’ 18.
“Rutgers has six McDonald’s All-Americans, so they have All-Americans coming off of the bench,” Brown said. “Some of their bench had more of an opportunity to play, which gave them a lift. [Rutgers] just came in, played hard and wanted to win that game. I try to explain to our girls all the time that it means something to play for Georgetown.”
The Scarlet Knights held Rodgers to 13 points, only her fourth time being held below 20 this year. Horne was the only other Hoya in double digits with 11 on the night.
Freshman guard Kahleah Copper led the way for the Scarlet Knights, meanwhile, scoring 12 points and grabbed six boards. Richardson came off the bench to chip in 11 points.
The Hoyas will next be in action Saturday against the Pittsburgh Panthers.
“We need to win the game,” Brown said. “If we can win this one at home, the bleeding stops, and then we go onto the next. We have to come out and defend, rebound and share the ball.”
Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. at McDonough Arena.