- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 23, 2010

WASHINGTON | The 19th-ranked Georgetown Hoyas had just won their 16th straight game, beating DePaul 74-65.

Instead of answering questions about the game and the highest ranking ever for her team, Hoyas coach Terri Williams-Flournoy, was defending her role Saturday in keeping the names of two suspended substitute players a secret.

Sophomore forward Tia McBride and senior guard Kenya Kirkland were suspended for fighting before the game against Louisville on Jan. 16.

“I think there’s a privacy right,” Williams-Flournoy said. “You come to the game, you see who it is. It’s no big secret.”

Williams-Flournoy, in her sixth season as the Hoyas coach, insisted that her actions were correct.

“They’re kids. They’re children. Their names shouldn’t be put out there like that,” Williams-Flournoy said. “I’m coddling them because they’re my players. They’re my kids. I take care of them. In the end, they’re still getting disciplined for it.”

McBride, who had played in each of the Hoyas’ previous 18 games, averages 2.3 points per game and Kirkland, a team captain, who had played in 17 games, averages 1.0 point.

“They’re getting punished for it. That’s the worst thing a player wants to do is sit out a game. They couldn’t even be on the bench. They received their punishment. They’re doing community service,” Williams-Flournoy said.

“It’s my job to protect these kids. It’s my job to make sure that they are always taken care of.”

After their 16th straight win, the players said the suspensions were not a distraction.

“Oh not at all, we definitely put that behind us. We’re just moving forward,” senior forward Jaleesa Butler said.

“Everybody on our team is incredibly important,” Monica McNutt, a junior guard said. “They are a presence. They were still with us.”

Team spokeswoman Barbara Jonas said earlier in the week that the school’s administration “did not feel it was fair to name the players.”

Players from both teams scuffled more than an hour prior to the Louisville game. The incident was caught on camera, and the suspensions were handed out based on a review of the tape by administrators and the coaching staff.

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