PAT CURRAN/THE HOYA Junior guard Sugar Rodgers sizes up the defense in the Hoyas' 65-53 win over Vermont at Dartmouth's Blue Sky Classic. Rodgers tied a career high with 34 points.
Junior guard Sugar Rodgers sizes up the defense in the Hoyas’ 65-53 win over Vermont at Dartmouth’s Blue Sky Classic. Rodgers tied a career high with 34 points.

HANOVER, N.H. — It’s a good week to be a Hoyas fan.

The No. 15 Georgetown women’s basketball team (11-2, 1-0 Big East) overcame some early defensive struggles to post a 65-53 victory over Vermont (6-6) Thursday night, in the opening game of Dartmouth’s Blue Sky Classic. The victory added to an already exciting week for Georgetown basketball, following the men’s team’s big win over No. 4 Louisville Wednesday night.

Junior guard Sugar Rodgers matched a career high with 34 points — including several crucial baskets down the stretch — in the Hoyas’ 10th straight victory. Rodgers was named Big East player of the week last week and is averaging 25 points per game over the last five games.

“All the plays were set, screens were set,” Rodgers said. “I just ran hard, came off the screens, knocked down theshots.”

It wasn’t always smooth sailing, however, as the Catamounts took advantage of defensive lapses to stick with Georgetown in the first half.

“To be honest, the first half sucked really bad,” said senior forward Tia Magee, who finished with eight points and seven rebounds. “We definitely could have executed better.”

Vermont junior forward and leading scorer Lauren Buschmann netted 8 of her 13 points in the first half, and the Catamounts never trailed by more than nine. While Rodgers’ 14-point effort kept the Hoyas afloat, it clearly wasn’t the start Georgetown Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy was looking for against an America East team on a four-game losing streak.

“We weren’t playing defense,” Williams-Flournoy said. “We weren’t paying attention to the scouting report. They have to stay focused and understand what it is that we’re trying to get accomplished.”

The Blue and Gray seemed to wake up after the break, however, stretching their seven-point halftime lead to as much as 18. Williams-Flournoy’s array of full-court presses began to take its toll on the overmatched Catamounts, who turned the ball over 16 times in the second half alone. Georgetown consistently took advantage of Vermont miscues throughout the game, scoring 25 points off the Catamounts’ 25 turnovers.

At the end of the day, though, it was all about Sugar. After a late rally spearheaded by Vermont freshman forward Kayla Burchill brought the underdogs within 10 with 2 minutes to play, Rodgers hit a layup and two treys to ice the game.

“Sometimes for Sugar, things just come a little too easy,” Williams-Flournoy said. “She had 14 points in the first half, walking around the majority of the time. … What she did in the second half is what she could do right at the beginning of the game. Sometimes she does need a little motivation.”

The victory was only the latest notch in the Hoyas’ belt in a season that is finally living up to its high expectations. After a rocky start featuring losses to two ranked teams, Georgetown has reeled off 10 consecutive wins. The most impressive win of the season came just last week, as the Hoyas wiped the floor with then-No.7 Miami at McDonough Arena.

There was a definite damper on the latest win, however, as senior forward Adria Crawford went down midway through the second half with an apparent knee injury. Georgetown was able to compensate for her absence against for the rest of the game, but a serious injury would put a dent in in the Hoyas’ title hopes.

“She’s a really good rebounder, so I know if [Crawford] goes down someone’s got to pick up the rebounding,” Magee said. “So we’re just going a little harder, having each other’s back.”

Georgetown wraps up its trip to Hanover tonight, facing off against host Dartmouth. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Dartmouth’s Leede Arena. If Thursday night’s game was any indication, the Big Green will definitely have their hands full with Rodgers.

“When she’s on, she’s on. … When she’s on, you’re just not going to stop her. It doesn’t matter,”Williams-Flournoy said.

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