WOMEN'S BASKETBALL | Third-Ranked UConn Deals GU Sound Defeat
Published: Thursday, January 10, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 10, 2013 11:01
McDonough Arena was packed on Wednesday night for the Georgetown women’s basketball team’s (10-5, 1-1 Big East) conference home opener against No. 3 Connecticut (13-1, 1-1). The grandstands emptied prematurely, though, as the Hoyas suffered a sound 75-48 defeat at the hands of the talented Huskies.
The opening five minutes were characterized by sloppy playing from both teams, but the visitors were able to shape up to take a 12-2 lead. Plagued by turnovers, the Blue and Gray spent the whole game from that point on trying in vain to close the gap.
In his postgame press conference, Georgetown Head Coach Keith Brown acknowledged the difficulties that go along with playing such a game of catch-up.
“We have to a better job of not turning over the ball,” Brown said. “When you give up 30 points on turnovers, that’s tough.”
Senior guard Sugar Rodgers was uncharacteristically quiet at the start of the game and finally scored made her first bucket with 10 minutes left to play in the first half. After Rodgers came to life, the Hoyas were able to hang with the Huskies for the remainder of the half and cut the lead to single digits.
Sugar finished the game with 23 points, despite UConn’s strategy of dedicating almost all of their energy on shutting her down.
“I don’t think it was frustration [that caused the slow start]. I have to make my shots when I get my shots.,” Rodgers said. Once I made my shots, I got into the rhythm and once I got into the rhythm it was kind of hard to get out.”
There was no rhythm for the Hoyas in the beginning of the second half; the Huskies poured in five treys in the opening minutes, while the hosts struggled to put up points.
“Anytime you’re playing a tough team like UConn, the first five minutes of the second half is the most important time. And our girls knew that, they understood what it was about — we just couldn’t quite get over the hump,” Brown said.
The Blue and Gray were focused on guarding the lane and forced Connecticut to take shot after shot from beyond the arc, which they made often enough to pull away. With 13 minutes to go in the game, Connecticut was ahead 67-32 and showed no sign of slowing.
“They came out and they knocked down some shots, and we got a little lazy. They were fast passing and they were shifting us so fast and I told them, ‘You know all what they’re doing is passing the ball.’ But we didn’t close off well,” Brown said.
Despite the 27-point loss, though, Brown was optimistic about the future of his young team.
“The score wasn’t indicative of how hard they played,” he said. “I thought they played extremely hard, so if we can take that and harness that and take that to other games, we’ve got some opportunities to do some big things.”
The Hoyas next take the court on Saturday when they travel to upstate New York to face another conference rival in Syracuse.