- The Washington Times - Monday, February 27, 2012

As the regular season came to a close on Monday at McDonough Arena, senior Tia Magee huddled outside of the locker room with her mother and sister.

“We were praying before the game,” said Magee.”Usually [my Mom] sends [the prayer] through a text message because I’m from Oklahoma, before every game, but she was here. So we prayed together.”

While the seniors took their home court for the last time, the 15th-ranked Hoyas attempted to rally from a six-point deficit with three minutes left but fell to 20th-ranked St. John’s 54-45 in a Big East matchup.

“I have no idea why my team showed up how they did today,” coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “It’s never happened before. We’re coming off of a really good win, a hard-fought win with Syracuse. We know what’s at stake.”

St. John’s held Georgetown to 27.1 percent shooting and connected at a 34.9 rate.

Red Storm coach Kim Barnes Arico said, “I thought it was a really, really ugly game, but I thought it was two great teams trying to grind it out on the last regular-season game.”

Pressure defense was a factor for both teams.

“We’re probably pretty similar,” said Barnes Acrio. “We turned the ball over a ton tonight and a large part due to their pressure. And they probably didn’t shoot the ball as well as normal in a large part due to our pressure…. It was ugly.”

The schools combined for 43 fouls, with Georgetown racking up 25. Magee took two within the first two minutes and was held to two points for the game.

“Right away, it takes you out of your normal flow, your normal rotation that we usually have,” Williams-Flournoy said.

Said Magee: “I can take a lot of personal responsibility. As a leader, as a senior, as one of our top scorers, me being out of the game because I fouled too much, it hurts our team. It hurts the chemistry, it hurts the flow.”

Ultimately, the Hoyas were doomed by their mistakes.

“We fouled and continuously put them on the free throw line. They were in double-bonus,” Williams-Flournoy said. “You can’t foul a team that many times.”

Sugar Rodgers led Georgetown with 13 points despite an uncharacteristic 6-for-25 effort from the floor. Many shots were taken off-balance.

“I thought she just completely rushed her game today,” Williams-Flournoy said. “I never feel that anyone can take anything away from Sugar, I feel Sugar takes herself out of the game.”

Seniors Adria Crawford and Alexa Roch added seven points apiece. While the seniors hoped to finish the regular season strong, they’re going to have to look to the Big East tournament for redemption.

As Magee shared a special moment with her family before tip-off, the senior wants to make sure that the future holds more of their traditional pregame prayers.

“I think we’ll take it as a lesson learned,” Magee said. “The one thing I can say about our team is that we do respond well to losing. I’m upset about the loss, but I’m not worried about our next game or our future, or whether we’re going to play badly. We’re going to bounce back.”