WOMEN'S BASKETBALL | Villanova 3-Point Barrage Leads to Another GU Loss
Published: Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 00:02
After an upset win over No. 22 St. John’s last week, the Georgetown women’s basketball team (9-19, 3-13 Big East) fell to Villanova (20-6, 10-5 Big East) 65-52 Sunday afternoon at Villanova. With only two games left in the regular season, Georgetown sits in eighth place in the Big East.
The Wildcats grabbed the first basket of the game, but the Hoyas managed to keep close at the beginning. Villanova scored three big three-pointers in less than two minutes, but jumpers by sophomore guard Logan Battle and freshman center Natalie Butler closed the gap to 13-9, and after a timeout, freshman forward Faith Woodard scored to bring the Hoyas within two with 13:54 remaining in the half.
The Wildcats’ hot shooting from three continued, however, as they hit two more to extend their lead to eight with 9:50 to go in the half.
The Hoyas had the opportunity to come within six points entering halftime after a steal by senior forward and co-captain Andrea White with 26 seconds left. But Villanova sophomore guard Caroline Coyer stole the ball back and the Wildcats held on for the last possession of the half. Coyer found open junior forward Lauren Burford, and Burford hit a three as time expired, giving Villanova the 36-25 lead.
The Wildcats continued to shoot the ball well from three in the second half, draining another to pull ahead by 14 points. But the Blue and Gray rallied with a 9-0 run in the next five minutes to crawl within five.
But the Hoyas were not done. With 8:03 remaining, a jumper by Woodard cut the deficit to just two. This, however, would be the closest the Hoyas would get, and Villanova dominated the remainder of the game.
Despite being outscored by just two points in the second half, the Hoyas struggled to score and only managed to shoot 39 percent from the field.
“I just wish we would have shot a better percentage,” Head Coach Jim Lewis said. “39 percent is below our field goal percentage for the season, and we just didn’t get the quality of shots to go down.”
Georgetown played a 2-3 zone for a majority of the game, which left the Villanova players open, and Villanova took advantage of this opportunity. Villanova’s Burford scored 20 points, making 6-of-12 three-point attempts. Villanova junior center Emily Leer also drained six threes and scored a game-high 28 points. Meanwhile, Georgetown’s struggles from behind the arc continued, as it managed to make only 3-of-9 three-point attempts all game.
“While we did a lot of good things, they really hurt us in an area where we thought we could minimize their effectiveness — their three-point shooting,” Lewis said. “When you shoot 36 three-pointers, that’s not happenstance. That’s a methodology, that’s the way they play.”
The Hoyas, however, outrebounded the Wildcats 39-37 and had a season-low eight turnovers, but this was not enough to overcome Villanova’s outside shooting. Despite the low number of turnovers, the Wildcats capitalized and scored 11 points off of them.
“It was our lowest turnover game of the season,” Lewis said. “Unfortunately, we are last place in the Big East in terms of turnovers. Our previous low was 13, so having eight certainly added to the number of possessions that we were able to execute the offense.”
Usually the Hoyas can expect Butler to play a full 40-minute game, but the freshman got into foul trouble early and that limited her to 14 minutes in the first half. She came back in the second to play 19 minutes and ended the game with 13 rebounds and 12 points — her 21st double-double of the season. Battle, who has been receiving more playing time as of late, started and played 35 minutes. She was the third-highest scorer with eight points.
White finished just shy of a double-double as she quietly led the team in points with 16, also pulling down nine rebounds.
“On any given night, any given team can really maximize what they do well. That was what we were hoping we would do with our strength, which is our power game, with Andrea White, Natalie Butler and Faith Woodard,” Lewis said. “And while they had good games, we just didn’t have the advantage with our strength.”
There are two games left in the regular season, and Georgetown’s final home game is Saturday, March 1, against Providence. The Friars currently sit in last place in the Big East.
“It’s a chance, most importantly, to send our seniors off, our five seniors, with a memory of a day where they played their last game successfully at McDonough Arena for Georgetown, where they’ve given so much for four years,” Lewis said.
Tipoff is slated for 3 p.m.