Charles Nailen/The Hoya The Hoyas lost their third straight on Sunday as Virginia overcame them in the second half.

Facing their final non-conference opponent, the Georgetown’s women’s basketball team fell apart in the second half of a 69-57 loss to the University of Virginia, the third consecutive loss for the team.

“I think the Virginia game was a matter of not knocking down enough shots. We got some good looks, we got the ball deep to Brunson, we got the ball to Lisicky a lot. Things just didn’t go in our favor. Things will turn around. Lisicky and Bruson are too good,” Head Coach Patrick Knapp said.

Playing before a large crowd of 4,282 spectators in University Hall in Charlottesville, Va., Georgetown attempted to bounce back from consecutive losses to the University of Connecticut and Boston College, two Big East adversaries with national rankings. The Hoyas showed their determination in the first half, keeping the score close in a tough contest.

For the first 13 minutes of the game each team traded shots, keeping the score tight and switching the lead back and forth. Unlike in recent games during which the opponents’ guards attacked sophomore guard Mary Lisicky at the point, preventing her from getting off shots, Lisicky looked strong from beyond the arc, sinking two treys in the first six minutes. Junior guard Rebekkah Brunson flexed her muscles in the post and helped keep the team competitive on offense and defense.

With seven minutes left on the clock, Brunson tied the game at 21-21, but Virginia soon pulled away. They dominated the next five minutes with a seven-point run until freshman forward Carmen Bruce hit a three-pointer to close the gap to four points, 28-24. Still, the Hoyas could not launch any counter against the hosts and left for the locker room trailing by six, 32-26.

For the third time in a row, Georgetown started slow and lagged behind its opponent at the half. Poor shooting was the culprit here, as the Hoyas hit 8-of-28, or 28.6 percent. The Cavaliers, on the other hand, shot a more respectable 40.0 percent field goal average. Georgetown also showed some trouble passing, allowing three steals and turning the ball over nine times.

The Hoyas had some bright spots as Brunson led the team with 10 points along with six rebounds. Lisicky chipped in with six points off two three-pointers. Senior forward Zsuzsanna Horvath made her debut this year on the starting line as a forward and helped the team with five points and three rebounds.

“We just felt we weren’t getting the rebounding and the defense we needed from the other post position. It doesn’t mean that anybody’s benched,” Knapp said on Horvath’s appearance as a starter instead of senior forward Nok Duany.

On the opposing side, sophomore guard Cherrise Graham and sophomore forward Brandi Teamer bedeviled the Hoyas’ defense, snagging 10 and eight points, respectively.

Back on the court, Georgetown refocused and took aim at Virginia, nailing some shots to bring the game within one point. Senior forward Shawntese Charles put the Hoyas back on top with a jumper with 13:49 on the clock, giving the team a one-point lead 37-36. The two teams battled for the lead once again, but Georgetown could not sustain the fight.

With 10:55 left, with the score tied at 42-42, the hosts tore up the court on an 11-point run that deflated their competition. The Cavaliers went 5-for-6 on the floor while their rivals failed to land the ball in the basket. After three minutes and as many time outs, the Hoyas finally landed a shot when Horvath hit one from the floor.

Georgetown surged to within four points, 53-49, but the home team refused to relent. In the next six minutes, Virginia outplayed its competitors and widened the gap. Once again, the Hoyas had no answers for their opponents’ play and capitulated for a 69-57 defeat.

“Each time we cut [their lead], and each time we had some open shots that we missed. That won’t make you lose the game,” Knapp said. “You have to go back down defensively and make a stop. We got beat by off-the-ball cutters, some backdoors, and some penetrations; we didn’t help ourselves.”

Georgetown stepped up its shooting for the second half, hitting 38.2 percent of its shots, but could not touch the Cavaliers, who sank 14-of-25, an imposing 56.4 percent. The Hoyas also gave up 14 points in total from the line, but picked up 10 for themselves. Virginia won the battle of the boards, pulling down 30 defensive rebounds to the visiting team’s 19.

The game featured Brunson’s 10th double-double, an almost regular feature this season, as she picked up 19 points and 14 rebounds. Lisicky followed with 14 points, including four three-pointers. Despite fouling out with two minutes left in the game, Horvath made her presence felt, going 5-for-8 and gathering 11 points and four boards. Still, Graham killed her challengers, leading the game with 23 points. Teamer finished second for Virginia with six points. Both girls grabbed six rebounds as well.

The Cavaliers, with the win, move up to 8-10 for the season and stand at 2-5 in the ACC. Georgetown, having slipped to 11-5 for the season and 2-3 in the Big East, will only face conference teams for the rest of its season and must reevaluate its playing in the midst of this three-game slump.

“In our losses to UConn and BC, there was not enough defensive help and poor rebounding, and we have to turn that around,” Knapp said.

The road ahead features a plethora of tough matchups. The Hoyas face another round against Miami and Connecticut, two teams which have already beat them. Georgetown also faces nationally ranked opponents such as Notre Dame and Villanova. The road to Piscataway, N.J., and the Big East Championship has many obstacles and the team needs to step up in order to make the journey. Some people believe they have the potential; Georgetown received votes for the first time this week in the AP poll, albeit just four of them.

The Hoyas begin their trek toward the postseason tomorrow night when they face the University of Pittsburgh in McDonough Gymnasium at 7:00 p.m. Pitt has struggled in the Big East, going 1-5, but are 9-8 for the season. Numbers and rankings aside, Knapp said he is sure that each opponent will challenge the team, but Georgetown will fight back.

“Our chances of beating Pitt are as about as good as beating any other team in the league. They’re going to be up for the game; we’re going to be up for the game. Every Big East game has equal and important value to us, and that is how we’ll approach it.”

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