“Rebound, share the ball, and. ” starts Latia Magee, a sophomore forward, before looking toward Jaleesa Butler, a senior forward, to finish her sentence.

“You mixed it up,” Butler said laughing. “It’s `defend, rebound, share the ball.'”

They repeat the last part together.

The Hoyas (14-2, 3-0 Big East) did all three on Tuesday night against the Providence Friars (10-6, 1-2 Big East), tying the school record with their 13th consecutive victory – matching the mark set by the 1979-1980 team – in a 74-62 win.

On Saturday, Georgetown will try to set the school record with its 14th straight win when the Hoyas take on the Louisville Cardinals.

“It doesn’t matter how many wins we have, we just want to keep winning them,” Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said, before laughing.

Williams-Flournoy is coaching the first nationally ranked basketball team of her career. The Hoyas are ranked 24th in the AP poll and 18th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ poll.

The last time the Hoyas were ranked nationally was 1993, but the glory was short-lived when Providence beat the No. 25 Hoyas 82-81. Now in 2010, the Hoyas avoided a repeat performance from their past and remained undefeated in Big East play.

Georgetown dished out 18 assists on 27 made field goals, grabbed 32 rebounds to Providence’s 24 – including a 15-4 advantage on the offensive glass – and caused 21 Friar turnovers compared to just 12 on the home end. Spectacular defensive play has been the trademark for the Hoyas all season, while their passing ranks third in the Big East. Rebounding, however, has been lacking.

 “We have rebounding goals, and if we don’t meet those goals, then we have `reminders,'” said Butler, who finished with four rebounds, six points, two steals and two assists. “Well, we call them consequences,” Butler continued.

Those consequences take the form of post-workout suicides.

“[Rebounding] is a point of emphasis every game,” Williams-Flournoy said. “With Providence, they were big, but they weren’t big at every position.”

Georgetown controlled the action for most of the game, and led 39-23 at halftime. The Hoyas extended their lead to 20 by the 18-minute mark in the second half. Then, the momentum swung away from the Blue and Gray when the Friars went on a 20-2 run to get back into the game.

“When we went back [to the game] it was really from the 18 [-minute mark] to the 12 [-minute mark] that Providence was really able to catch up,” Williams-Flournoy said. “In that time span, we had seven fouls, six turnovers. We didn’t make our shots, we didn’t play defense, and when you add all of those things up, you’re going to lose a 20-point lead.”

Georgetown pulled things together after a pep talk from its head coach.

“I told them, `We’re not playing defense, and we’re turning the ball over,'” Williams-Flournoy recounted. “But you know this is a game of runs, and the girls did a good job of changing the momentum of the game, and they made a 17-point run themselves after that.”

The Hoyas committed just six turnovers and four fouls aside from that span, while recording 15 steals. Georgetown leads the nation in steals at 15.3 per game.

“We are agile, we’re small, our speed, our intensity – that all combines on defense and it produces a lot of turnovers, a lot of steals,” said Magee, who finished with 13 points, five rebounds and four assists.

Five Hoyas finished the game with multiple steals, including freshman star and McDonald’s All-American Ta’Shuana “Sugar” Rodgers, who led the team with 26 points to raise her overall team-leading average to 19 points per game. Rodgers was 10-of-18 from the field and the Blue and Gray shot 47 percent as a whole.

Thus far, Georgetown has surprised the nation by becoming a contender. But as their reputation grows, the Hoyas are changing nothing.

“From the beginning our mindset has been to take everything one day at a time,” Butler, one of the team’s three seniors, said. “Yes, we want to make the [NCAA] tournament and all of that, but like coaches have said, we are 18th in the country, but we’re better than that and [the coaches] are pushing us to be better than that.”

Saturday’s opponent is a team that spent most of 2009 surprising the nation. The Louisville Cardinals (10-6, 2-1 Big East) are coming off a season which ended with a loss to the UConn Huskies in the national championship game. The Cardinals upset two number-1 seeds in Maryland and Oklahoma on their way to the title game last season.

“Louisville is a very good team, they were the national team last year, and they press, like us,” Williams-Flournoy said. “They’re good inside and they’re a very good team for us to face.”

The Cardinals match the Hoyas in points per game, but give up nearly 10 more on the defensive end per contest. Additionally, Louisville is a much weaker team after losing two players to the WNBA draft, including last year’s number-one overall pick, Angel McCoughtry.

“Lousiville may be thinking that we’re the same old Georgetown and that they’re the national team,” Butler said. “But we’re just going to surprise the world and. ” Magee finished her sentence, “. keep the winning streak going.”

Fourteen wins would be a new school record, but that isn’t putting any extra pressure on the Hoyas.

“There is no extra pressure because we already have so much pressure on us,” Magee said. “We just want to set more standards, and we don’t settle, and we have so much pressure because we have so many goals.”

Those goals include the Big East tournament and the NCAA tournament, but a long conference schedule awaits Georgetown.

“Our non-conference schedule was tough, and it helped us prepare for conference play,” Williams-Flournoy said. “We had three games in a row at Purdue, three tough games, and that’s the same as the Big East tournament. So the girls can say, `We’ve been here before, we can do this again.’ And we’ve won some close games and we lost two close games.”

Williams-Flournoy pointed to the team’s chemistry as the best she’s ever seen as part of the Hoyas’ success, while Butler highlighted the defense.

“Turnovers – it’s just our style of play – trap, trap, trap – defense wins the game,” Butler said.

Magee summed up the battle of the Big East: “As we’ve seen, even if you’re the better team, you can still lose.”

“We’re going to have to turn it up a notch,” Butler added.

Tip-off is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. in McDonough Gymnasium. “

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