WOMEN'S BASKETBALL | Second-Half Disaster Seals Loss
Published: Friday, January 24, 2014
Updated: Friday, January 24, 2014 01:01
DePaul’s 56-point second half (14-5, 5-2 Big East) ran the Georgetown women’s basketball team (7-12, 1-6 Big East) into a 92-69 rout Wednesday at McDonough Arena. A full-court press forced Georgetown turnovers, ultimately overwhelming Georgetown’s efforts offensively and defensively. The Blue and Gray have lost three consecutive games and nine of their last 10.
“I think the misnomer when you look at a great team — and I think DePaul is a great team — is that you look at the offensive productivity,” Head Coach Jim Lewis said. “They’re leading the league in scoring. But they maximized their opportunities off their defense and transitioned well. [DePaul] plays with really four perimeter guards, skilled kinds of players.”
Georgetown and DePaul were evenly matched in the first half. Although the Hoyas initially struggled with the Blue Demons’ press, they eventually made the necessary adjustments. Georgetown then proceeded to keep pace with DePaul, through senior forward and co-captain Andrea White’s production in the paint.
Georgetown was able to match this style of play in the first half with successful rebounding and points in the paint. The Hoyas dominated the boards in the first half, outrebounding DePaul 25-10.
“We had mismatches [in the first half],” Lewis said. “Andrea hurt them when she had mismatches.”
While the rest of the Georgetown offense struggled against the active DePaul defense, White was able to exploit presented mismatches. She scored 16 of her 21 points during the first half
“We have some shortcomings and that’s fine, you can still be successful if you maximize your strengths, and she’s our strength,” Lewis said. “She’s the best player we have. She can make plays unlike any other player on our team, so I don’t care if she’s a point or a two or a three; she’s a basketball player, and you saw her today do some of those things, breaking the press … good decision making, not only dribbling but making advance passes and finding a mismatch once she got down there.”
Georgetown did not trail by more than three points until the final seconds of the half, when a layup after a Georgetown turnover extended the DePaul advantage to five. But in the second half, the Hoyas continued to struggle with turnovers. The Blue and Gray committed 13 second-half turnovers, which created an insurmountable deficit.
“That’s their standard way of playing,” Lewis said. “Like any good team, if they press and we beat it, then they get out of it. But if they press and we don’t beat it and turn it over and they score, then it just fuels their aggressiveness, their desire to want to press more.”
The Hoyas, however, were unable to maintain their high level of play in the second half. Georgetown committed an astounding 30 turnovers in the game, which ultimately doomed the team.
“Our intensity wasn’t the same in the second half,” White said. “We had a lot of turnovers, our defense wasn’t the same and we were giving up a lot of easy buckets. They were getting a lot of defensive rebounds.”
In the first three minutes of the second half, the DePaul defense forced six turnovers. DePaul’s defensive successes fueled a 16-3 run to open the half which all but sealed the victory for the Blue Demons.
“Everyone saw what happened at the start of the second half, and that was an inattention to detail on our part,” Lewis said. “Throwing the ball to people in blue uniforms, unfortunate turnovers which led to easy, easy, easy layups.”
After attempts at in-game changes were unable to pull the Hoyas out of their stretch of poor play, Lewis spoke of more fundamental changes for the team.
“The adjustment and the attention to detail were obviously absent from our play,” Lewis said. “I feel for sure that this is the best team in our league at this point, and we only showed for far too few minutes that we could compete against them. … We have to make changes, not only systemically, but personnel wise, and we will.”
The Hoyas now turn their attention to Big East opponent, St. John’s, which is currently sitting atop the conference standings. The Red Storm have won five straight games against some of the conference’s best teams, including DePaul, Creighton and Marquette.
The Georgetown defense will be faced with trying to contain sophomore guard Aliyyah Handford, who averages 17 points a game.
“There are no weak teams in the Big East, really there aren’t, and we’re not either,” Lewis said. “I haven’t looked at them, [but] I’ve seen them because they’ve played against teams we’ve played, so I know how good they are.”
For White and the rest of the team, the game will present another opportunity to try and salvage its season.
“We’re just going to go into practice, just try hard try to get better so we can have a good game against St. John’s and win,” White said.
The Blue and Gray will look to end their three game skid Sunday when they head to Carnesecca Arena in Queens, N.Y. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.