The NCAA tournament has a tendency to cause jitters, but fifth-seeded Georgetown (26-6) overcame those early butterflies to dismiss the 12th-seeded Marist Red Foxes (26-8), 62-42.

“[Jitters] had to come with [the start of] the NCAA tournament,” Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said after the win. \”You know, this was Marist’s second straight time in the tournament, and this was our first time. So we had the jitters of the first game, but we overcome them, go out and do what we do.”

Down 16-7 in the first half, the Hoyas rattled off seven points in 90 seconds after Williams-Flournoy changed the defense from zone to man-to-man. After that, it was all Hoyas in a full team effort.

“We changed a couple of different things,” Williams-Flournoy said. “But the emphasis from day one has been rebounding, and I especially emphasized the offensive rebounds.”

The Hoyas obliterated the Red Foxes on the boards, 46-34, including a 19-13 advantage on the offensive glass. Sophomore forward Alexa Roche led the way with 12 rebounds, and senior forward Jaleesa Butler added nine boards.

While Butler and Roche owned the glass, senior guard Shanice Fuller picked apart the Red and Black defense, dishing out 11 of the team’s 16 assists. Scoring wise, junior guard Monica McNutt led the team with 14 points and sophomore forward Latia Magee added 11.

“We just hung in there,” McNutt said. “This is a game of runs and [Marist] made their run in the first half. But in the second half, we took the momentum and ran away with the game.”

The Hoyas permitted just 19 second-half points to the Red Foxes, as the Hoya defense caused a team that shot 42 percent from the floor during the season to shoot just 21.7 percent for the entire game. Marist tallied just 42 total points, marking the sixth time Georgetown has held an opponent to under 50 points in a game.

“Unfortunately, we can’t really celebrate tonight’s win,” McNutt said. “But we understand that this is the tournament, and we just have to adjust [for the next opponent]. We just have to do what we’ve done all year long.”

The Hoya defense has been a strong point all year, and in this game the Hoyas committed just seven turnovers on offense, another statistic requiring a full team effort.

“It was a team effort tonight,” Williams-Flournoy said. “Shanice had 11 assists, Alexa Roche had 12 rebounds off the bench. Tonight was about the whole team.”

Georgetown will now look forward to Monday night, when the Hoyas will take on the winner of the Fresno St.-Baylor game. Williams-Flournoy said her team was already on its way to watching the first half of the game and thought that Baylor would most likely be the Hoyas’ next opponent.

Still, for the Georgetown coach, who was in her first year as an assistant when the Lady Hoyas last made the NCAA tournament, it was a fun night.

“It’s great. I’m more excited for [the team],” Williams-Flournoy said. “I’m proud of them.”

Tip-off for the Monday night game will be approximately 9:30 pm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*