WOMEN'S BASKETBALL | Turnovers Plague GU in Loss
Published: Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 02:02
Conference woes continued for the Georgetown women’s basketball team against Marquette (14-6, 5-4 Big East) this Saturday with a 77-54 loss. The loss extended the Hoyas’ (7-15, 1-9 Big East) losing streak to six games. Georgetown, without senior co-captain and forward Andrea White and sophomore guard Katie McCormick, was unable to overcome untimely turnovers. Marquette ultimately took advantage of second-chance opportunities to hand Georgetown its ninth Big East loss of the year.
In a matchup between the two top rebounding teams in the Big East, the Golden Eagles dominated the Hoyas on the boards. Marquette finished with 47 rebounds, including 23 offensive rebounds. Meanwhile, Georgetown only finished with 32 boards and 12 offensive rebounds.
“We gave up 23 offensive rebounds … and we were outrebounded by 15,” Head Coach Jim Lewis said. “Those two numbers tell as much about how the game went in their favor and how we failed in our attempts to be who we are.”
The Hoyas’ struggles with turnovers continued, as they committed 15 in the first half and 20 overall, which place them among the worst in the Big East in turnovers this season. Georgetown averages 20.6 turnovers per game, which is seven more turnovers than it forces. Marquette, who has the second most turnovers in the Big East, averages 16.7 per game which is about one more than it forces.
“There lies the major concern we have, which is coming up with empty possessions and giving them multiple opportunities to hurt us,” Lewis said.
Lewis hopes to combat these numbers with a focus on defensive performance. Because the Blue and Gray struggled to get stops against the Golden Eagles, Lewis believes a defensive approach provide the best opportunity for success.
“We would like to have our program built on excellent defense, which will yield more opportunities for increased offense,” Lewis said. “It’s always offense, offense, offense to increase your offensive productivity. But I choose to take the defensive approach, which will yield a greater return on the offensive end.”
In the hopes of finding more defensive success, the team will simplify its schemes in order to best challenge its opponents, according to Lewis.
“We’ll be focusing on fewer things, so less is going to be more,” Lewis said. “We’ve tried the other way of being more diverse, with not only how we go down court, with different presses, or how we defend on the quarter court. … Whatever the case may be, we’re going to change in that respect so our approach will be less, and hopefully less will be more, more productive.”
Georgetown struggled to score without McCormick and White, who are both offensive leaders for the Hoyas. McCormick leads the team in three-pointers and free-throw percentage while White is the team’s leading scorer.
“Andrea [White] has started every game and Katie [McCormick] has started most of the games, so we’re missing two starters who are so valuable on both ends of the floor,” Lewis said. “Our anchor, our true anchor on the team in general is Andrea White. She’s the co-captain, she’s the senior leader, she’s the rock, she’s the anchor and when she’s not on the floor we’re just not the same team.”
The two are currently day-to-day according to Lewis, and in their place the younger side of Georgetown’s roster is receiving playing time. Freshman forward Faith Woodard played all but 38 minutes for the Hoyas and led the team with 18 points. Freshman center Natalie Butler added 14 points while grabbing eight rebounds.
“Hopefully younger people will grow from the opportunities that are presented with them being out,” Lewis said. “We talked to our medical people constantly about [White and McCormick], about everyone. ... The most important thing is that they get healthy and move towards a level of stability where they’re not in the lineup one day and out the next.”
Georgetown has eight games remaining on its regular season schedule. In order to secure a .500 record, the Hoyas must win all remaining eight games. The next two matchups will be away against Creighton Feb. 5, and at home against Xavier Feb. 7.
“We’re looking toward the big game against Creighton, a repeat of an opponent we saw and played down to the last possession, as we did the first time we played Marquette,” Lewis said. “We often like to couch games together so we can have a mini-tournament focus and goal, so that’s what we’re doing with the game at Creighton on Wednesday and then, equally if not more important, the home game against Xavier this Friday.”
The Hoyas will look to end their six-game slide Wednesday against Creighton. Tipoff against the Bluejays is scheduled for 8:05 p.m.