WOMEN'S BASKETBALL | Strong 2nd Half Secures Upset Win
Published: Friday, February 21, 2014
Updated: Friday, February 21, 2014 02:02
Nothing was certain until the final buzzer. But when St. John’s last-second three-point attempt clanged off the back of the rim as time expired, the scoreboard said it all. The Georgetown women’s basketball team (9-18, 3-12 Big East) pulled off a stunning 60-57 victory over the No. 22 St. John’s Red Storm (19-6, 12-2 Big East) at McDonough Arena on Tuesday night. With the win, the Hoyas snapped an 11-game win streak for the Red Storm.
After giving St. John’s a stiff challenge in New York Jan. 26, falling 66-63, the Hoyas once again proved they could play with the league’s best, coming back from an early deficit to hold a lead for most of the second half.
“I feel like we definitely had a chance coming in, especially how the first game played out, it was neck and neck the whole game,” senior guard and co-captain Samisha Powell said. “They’re definitely a good team, but we played really hard. I think the things that we didn’t do the first game we capitalized on this game.”
Georgetown edged St. John’s in most of the major statistical categories. Georgetown shot 42 percent from the field, dominated inside the paint, scoring 44 of its 63 points and outrebounded the Red Storm, 36-30.
“I think we just controlled the tempo that whole game, I think we played defense really well; there were times we had mental lapses but I think we were able to control that a little better,” Powell said. “One of the main things coach talked about was boxing out, rebounding and making sure we cut off the short corner passes, and I think we just did everything almost perfectly tonight.”
The Hoyas trailed for the entire first half, and St. John’s stretched its lead to as much as 10 points. A late 12-4 run by the Hoyas to end the half got them within two points of the Red Storm.
“We had great contributions throughout the lineup,” Head Coach Jim Lewis said. “We controlled what we felt like we needed to control. They got away from us a little bit with some transition buckets, and they hurt us in the first half with some offensive penetrations, but once we corrected that we looked good.”
Georgetown built upon its first-half momentum in the second half and after exchanging baskets with St. John’s on several possessions, it took its first lead with 16:09 remaining. The halftime adjustments the Hoyas made gave them the opportunity to take control of the game, according to Lewis.
“We started getting our running game going, once we blocked out and rebounded,” he said. “They were smothering us, trying to shade and steal the rebound or double team us when we got a defensive rebound, but once we got it out, we had some nice transition opportunities.”
Although the Hoyas would lead by as much as nine points, St. John’s did not surrender. The Red Storm closed the lead to one point in the final minute of game time. With 22 seconds to play, two free throws by sophomore guard Katie McCormick gave Georgetown a three-point lead. St. John’s had the opportunity to tie the game at the end of regulation, but redshirt senior guard Eugeneia McPherson missed the three — securing the Georgetown win.
The Hoyas were led by strong performances from Powell and sophomore forward Logan Battle, who finished 5-of-9 for 12 points and 6-of-9 for 13 points, respectively, along with a 12-point performance by freshman forward Faith Woodard. White and freshman center Natalie Butler combined for 24 rebounds.
Butler’s 14-rebound performance comes a game after she broke the Georgetown women’s basketball single season record for rebounds. She also broke the Big East single season record for rebounds as a freshman.
“It feels pretty incredible especially because this is my freshmen year,” Butler said of the win. “It just really lifts our spirits and we needed something like that for our team. I think it only can help us from here on out, it gives us confidence.”
Butler was honored for her accomplishments prior to the game. Butler has also won 10 Big East Freshman of the Week awards, tying the conference record.
With four games remaining in the regular season, the Hoyas will turn to Saturday’s game against Villanova (19-6, 9-5 Big East). The Wildcats are coming off a 69-56 loss to the Red Storm. Earlier this season, Villanova defeated Georgetown 59-49 — it was Georgetown’s lowest point total this season. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. in Philadelphia.