WOMEN'S BASKETBALL | Schimmel, No. 12 UL Await on Road
Published: Friday, February 1, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 1, 2013 00:02
The key to being successful in the grind of the Big East is simply to survive, and to survive teams have to win games at home and steal a few on the road. The Georgetown women’s basketball team will look to do the latter Saturday as it heads south to take on No. 12 Louisville (18-4, 6-2 Big East).
Georgetown (13-8, 4-4 Big East) is coming off of a strong week, first defeating Pittsburgh in commanding fashion last Saturday and then fending off Cincinnati 54-52 Tuesday to get themselves back on track.
But winning in Louisville will certainly not be an easy task: The Cardinals boast an impressive 10-1 home record so far on the season, their sole loss coming against No. 8 Kentucky. And although Louisville does not dominate one certain area of the game, it is an incredibly well-rounded team.
Even so, Georgetown Head Coach Keith Brown was not intimidated.
“I think we match up well with [Louisville]. We played close games with them last year,” Brown said. “It has been going back and forth the last couple years. Hopefully this is a trend that continues, and we can go out on the road and steal one. “
The Cardinals are currently riding a four-game winning streak, most recently holding off South Florida 78-75 Wednesday. Junior guard Shoni Schimmel — a constant threat from deep — lit up the Bulls in that contest for 38 points and an 8-for-14 mark from behind the arc. The Hoyas will therefore primarily look to stop Schimmel, who ranks in the top five in the Big East in treys made.
“We just have to get in [Schimmel’s] face,” Brown said. “We are going to pressure her like we normally pressure everyone, so hopefully we can turn her over, but she is an outstanding player. She is a McDonald’s All-American. She can flat-out shoot the basketball. We just have to rattle her a little bit.”
Schimmel isn’t the only player to watch on offense, though, as two more Cardinals average double-digit point totals. As a team, Louisville averages 73.6 points a game and is third in the Big East in scoring margin, topping opponents by an average of 20.8 points per game.
“I think their two guards average 38 points [combined], so what we have to do is cut those points down there,” Brown said, referring to Schimmel and junior Antonita Slaughter. “If we can do that, I think we will have the opportunity to be in the game.”
On top of that challenge, though, the Blue and Gray will also have to control their turnovers. Averaging 20.2 a game, Georgetown will have to make every possession count against an elite team like Louisville.
“When you want to push the ball as much as we do, and you want to be a transitional team, you are going to have turnovers. I am able to live with that part,” Brown said. “How we cancel those out is we turn the other team over 23 times. But we are going to turn the ball over because I want them to be in transition — I want them to take the chance to get layups.”
On the offensive side, the Hoyas once again will turn to senior shooting guard Sugar Rodgers to lead the way. Rodgers can certainly take over games, but she won’t be able to do it all on her own against the Cards, as contributions on both ends will also be needed from junior forward Andrea White, senior center Sydney Wilson and sophomore forward Brittany Horne.
“They are going to load up on Sugar, but if Brittany, Sydney and Andrea can step up and we can get four kids in double figures, scoring won’t be our biggest problem,” Brown said. “Defending Louisville is going to be our biggest problem.”
The Hoyas will take on the Cardinals Saturday at the KFC Yum! Center. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m.