WOMEN'S BASKETBALL | White Secures Last-Gasp Win Over Pitt at the Line
Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 01:02
The game between Georgetown and Pittsburgh on Saturday was tied at 70 with 37 seconds left, and the Hoyas had possession. Everyone in the Petersen Events Center knew, then, that senior shooting guard Sugar Rodgers was looking to be the hero.
And Rodgers did indeed take the last shot, but it was junior forward Andrea White who sealed the team’s triumph in Pittsburgh. With four seconds remaining, Rodgers drove to the basket and missed, only to have White grab the offensive board and get fouled on the put-back attempt.
Ice in her veins, White would convert both attempts from the stripe, giving Georgetown (14-12, 5-8 Big East) the hard-fought 72-70 win over Pittsburgh (9-17, 0-13 Big East).
“Andrea came from the right box … and then flew through everyone in the air and got the rebound. When she went back up, she got fouled, and they had to call it,” Head Coach Keith Brown said. “Andrea is probably the unsung hero on this team. She is extremely quiet and no-maintenance — she just does everything you need her to do, even when she is hurting.”
The Hoyas dominated the Panthers inside, outscoring them 30-20 in the paint en route to a victory that ended Georgetown’s four-game losing streak.
“The worst team in the world to play is a team that hasn’t won. I have to give [Pittsburgh] credit,” Brown said. “I think Pitt played extremely well — they played well enough to win. They knocked down shots and were doing a good job on defense, but then our seasoning just came through at that point.”
Both teams got off to quick starts, and the Panthers found themselves with a 10-9 lead with just over 14 minutes remaining in the first half. But the Hoyas, sparked by a three-pointer from sophomore guard Jasmine Jackson, went on a 16-0 run to open up a 15-point advantage.
The Blue and Gray’s subsequent cold shooting and fouls combined to allow the Panthers to claw back into the game, though. Pittsburgh had cut it to 32-28 with 44 seconds remaining in the half, but another trey by Jackson with three seconds remaining sent the Hoyas into the locker room with a seven-point lead.
The visitors’ momentum continued early into the second half, as a jumper by freshman forward Dominique Vitalis extended Georgetown’s lead to 12. Nonetheless, the Panthers were once again poised for another run.
This time the Hoyas were plagued by turnovers, which led to Pittsburgh’s getting easy baskets in transition. Within 10 minutes, the Blue and Gray’s 12-point lead had become a six-point deficit.
“We were taking quick shots,” Brown said. “But we didn’t really do it to ourselves — they did it to us. They defended really well. They did a tremendous job.”
In spite of that Pittsburgh defensive pressure, Rodgers came up with back-to-back threes to kill the skid, tying the game at 56-56 with 6:40 remaining. The rest of the contest was a back-and-forth affair, but phenomenal play by White and Rodgers down the stretch sealed the road win.
“They played like the veterans that they are. Sugar is going to get a lot of contact in the game, but they both were poised,” Brown said. “They had a big crowd — it was their [breast cancer awareness] game — but [Sugar and Andrea] were poised and calmed everyone down.”
Three Hoya players reached double figures in the victory. Rodgers led all scorers with 23 points while also nabbing six steals; White posted a double-double, with 19 points and 12 rebounds; and Vitalis tallied 11 points.
“It was a much-needed win,” Brown said. “I think we have been playing hard, but even though they play hard, the team doesn’t always see success, and that’s when it is hard to keep the morale up. I think the win puts some more wind in our sails — it was a big win for us.”
The Hoyas will next be in action today at DePaul. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m.