Charles Nailen/The Hoya Senior guard Porshia Jones defends against Villanova in the Hoyas’ 63-47 loss to Villanova. The Georgetown women’s basketball team’s uninspired play in the second half of Wednesday’s game against Villanova allowed the visiting Wildcats to go on a 15-0 run, for an easy 63-47 win. Even with freshman forward Rebekkah Brunson’s league-leading 10th double-double, the Hoyas could not keep up with the Wildcats’ potent inside-outside game as they lost their second straight Big East game.

“You have to match baskets with this team, and we didn’t do it,” Head Coach Pat Knapp said. “We had some kids of ours lose heart, and that is a poor reaction to competition.”

After shooting 30 percent from the field at Miami last Saturday, Georgetown could not break out of its slump and shot a lackluster 35 percent against Villanova. Only Brunson shot better than 50 percent from the field, leading the team with 23 points and 11 boards.

Both teams started off slowly, scoring only four points apiece three minutes into the game. In one impressive sequence, Brunson grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed shot from senior guard Katie Smrcka-Duffy, missed a layup, but then jumped over two defenders to put it back in and tie the game at four. Field goals were few and far between, contributing to a slow-paced first half. From the 13:44 mark to the 8:27 mark, both teams combined for only five points.

Neither team could build a sizable lead due to paltry shooting, but the game livened up in the latter part of the half. The Wildcats took a 16-12 lead with 8:07 left, but the Hoyas came right back, with Brunson and senior forward Natalie Bourdereau scoring a combined eight unanswered points in less than two minutes. They could not hold the lead, however, and Villanova returned to score five straight points and gained the edge, 21-20, with 4:30 remaining in the half. Both squads then proceeded to trade off points as the Hoyas tied it at 26 with two Smrcka-Duffy free throws at the 2:02 mark.

A three-pointer from Lauren Pellicane with 54 seconds in the half gave the Wildcats the 29-26 lead going into halftime.

Brunson and Bourdereau each had nine first-half points, while Smrcka-Duffy had all five of the team’s assists. The Wildcats’ leading scorer, Brandi Barnes, had 11 points as she managed to squeeze through the Hoyas’ interior defense.

The two teams continued to keep the game close early in the second half, as Georgetown kept up with Villanova’s shooters. After Villanova took a 31-26 lead, Smrcka-Duffy hit a three-pointer, her only field goal of the night, and Brunson connected on two jumpers as the Hoyas took their only lead of the second half, 33-31 with 17:53 remaining. Brunson made two more shots to keep the game tied at 37 with 13:21 to go.

Then the Wildcats went on to score 15 unanswered points in the following five minutes.

“We didn’t defend properly and we got beat everywhere on the court,” Knapp said.

Villanova used a combination of Barnes inside and their other four players outside to pull away. It used four jumpers including two threes, from Katie Davis and Tris Juhline to make the score 50-37. Then the Wildcats pounded it inside to Barnes who scored on two layups, which included one three-point play.

Brunson finally stopped the bleeding with a jumper to make it 55-41 with 6:39 to play in regulation. But the damage had been done and the Hoyas were never able to recover.

“Today’s game was a test of character but we didn’t come through,” Bourdereau said.

Another three-pointer from Davis closed the door on the Hoyas, extending Villanova’s lead to 61-41 with less than four minutes left. Georgetown managed to narrow the lead to 14 after two layups from senior guard Porshia Jones and another shot from Brunson, but it was too little, too late.

Villanova shot 50 percent from the field in the second half and capitalized on Georgetown’s shooting woes. After managing 11 points against Miami, Smrcka-Duffy, the Hoyas’ leading scorer (16.3 ppg), had only five points on 1 of 11 shooting from the field.

Georgetown next plays at McDonough Gymnasium on Monday against non-league opponent Florida International before finishing out the season with five conference games.

“We have to find our heart and we need to have fire,” Knapp said. “We’ll continue to work on basics, offensive execution, talking on defense.”

Related Links

 Women’s Basketball Page

 Women’s Basketball Schedule

 Women’s Basketball Roster

 Box Score vs. Villanova (2/7)

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.