Looking up at the scoreboard four minutes into the game and seeing a 4-2 Rutgers lead might have led Georgetown fans to think that poor shooting would again be the headline of the day. But the Blue and Gray figured out their offense eventually, dominating down the stretch in a 54-36 upset of the then-No. 11 Scarlet Knights (17-4, 6-2 Big East).

The No. 17 Hoyas (17-5, 6-3 Big East) held Rutgers to a season-low 36 points on 30.8 percent shooting from the floor, including a 0-of-14 performance from behind the arc. Moreover, the Hoyas forced 22 turnovers, led by five steals apiece from senior forward Tia Magee and junior guard Sugar Rodgers.

“[That performance was] probably close to the best,” Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “Especially when you think about the top-ranked opponents, it’s definitely one of our better defensive games. I think it might be second, right behind Miami.”

The turnovers were a huge difference in the outcome, as the Hoyas scored 22 points off Rutgers miscues compared to eight points on 11 turnovers for the visitors. Magee played a big role on the defensive end, creating a few fast-break layups off steals.

“Our coaches told us to emphasize [the turnovers],” Magee said. “Once we got them to start turning over the ball, they started getting frustrated, so instead of playing at that same level we had to step it up.”

With 5:33 remaining in the first half, Rutgers redshirt senior guard Khadijah Rushdan went down hard, smacking her head on the hardwood. Rushdan was down holding the back of her neck for what seemed an eternity. Thankfully, the scary moment ended with her being helped off the court in a wheelchair. Rushdan returned to cheer on her team from the bench in the second half, but her injury clearly affected the Scarlet Knights.

“I don’t think people realize how important she is and that she makes everything go,” Rutgers Head Coach C. Vivian Stringer said. “The kind of point totals that we can get is a direct result of Khadijah. It’s not her scoring, but it’s obvious that she makes everything go.”

The Hoyas pulled away late in the first half, which ended with senior forward Adria Crawford’s buzzer-beating put-back. Georgetown had a seven-point lead and all of the momentum at the break.

The Blue and Gray started the second half on fire, going on a 7-0 run and never looking back. Rodgers did not have her best offensive day (19 points on 5-of-22 shooting), but Magee seemingly scored at will, recording a game-high 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting.

“I feel like I always play hard, but my teammates came to me and said, ‘Tia, this is what we need from you. We need more production, we need you to be more aggressive,'” Magee said.

To pile on to the Hoyas’ already outstanding afternoon, senior guard Rubylee Wright’s five-assist performance gave her a school-record 472 career assists.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without these girls,” Wright said. “I was blessed to have them on my side. They make everything else easier for me.”

The victory over the Scarlet Knights was the Hoyas’ first win over a ranked opponent since Dec. 21, when they beat then-No. 7 Miami (Fla.). In Williams-Flournoy’s eyes, this was a must-win game.

“What I told the team was we beat some ranked opponents in December, but now it’s the end of January and at this point you need a signature win going later into the season, into the Big East tournament, into the NCAA tournament,” Williams-Flournoy said. “We really needed a signature win over a ranked opponent.”

The Hoyas will look to keep riding this momentum when they travel to Cincinnati this Saturday. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m. at Fifth Third Arena.

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