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Poor shooting dooms Georgetown women against No. 2 Notre Dame
Question of the Day
In a pre-game interview Monday evening, Georgetown women’s basketball coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said the Hoyas are still looking to fill holes in the line-up left by departures from the 2010-11 roster.
“That [is] an objective, to put another good five together.”
After Tuesday night’s outing against No. 2 Notre Dame, it looks like the 18th-ranked Hoyas are still on the hunt for their five. Georgetown suffered an 80-60 loss at McDonough Arena and are now 13-4, 2-2 in the Big East.
After winning the tip, Georgetown controlled the ball for the first two minutes, getting off eight shots to Notre Dame’s one. But Adria Crawford’s layup to make it 2-0 at the 45-second mark was the only one of the eight to hit the net. It would be a familiar theme throughout the first half.
Six minutes into play, the Hoyas’ drought grew to 1-for-14 as Notre Dame (16-1, 4-0) took an 8-4 lead. Williams-Flournoy made her first substitution hoping to find a shooter in senior Alexa Roche. The move didn’t improve matters as Georgetown’s shooting woes continued, getting as bad as 2-for-21.
The Hoyas finished the first half at 7-for-38 (18.4 percent).
“We’re missing that shooter,” said Williams-Flournoy. “I really think [last year’s Monica McNutt] took a lot of pressure off of Sugar [Rodgers] because you had to guard her.”
Guard Rubylee Wright fought to find the open player and the team scrambled to get a shot off before the clock stripped them of the opportunity.
Rodgers, the leading scorer in the Big East, ended the half with no points thanks to the defense of Notre Dame guard Brittany Mallory.
“We wanted to be aware of [Rodgers] and where she was at all moments of the game,” Mallory said. “You’ve got to stay with her and kind of force her to shoot those tough shots — get a hand in her face whether she’s making them or not, you’ve just got to contest every one.”
Entering the second half with a 21-point deficit the Hoyas came out intent to make the Irish work for their win.
“The coaches in the locker room told us our intensity wasn’t up and we all agreed. We all came out with fire, like with something to prove that we could play with them,” said Wright. “We just couldn’t sit back and let things happen like they did in the first half. We played harder in the second half.”
With two lay-ups and three made free throws in the first two minutes, the Georgetown intensity level was noticeably higher. Rodgers found the scoring column with a pair of free throws to end the dry spell.
“I had a game like this the other night where I was 1-for-13 but I didn’t care,” Rodgers said. “I just kept shooting.”
The increased intensity helped the Hoyas cut into Notre Dame’s lead, getting as close as 62-52 with 5:14 left. That was as much run as Georgetown could muster before the visitors pulled away.
“Teams in the Big East are too good to get buried by 20. It’s too hard to come back,” said Williams-Flournoy. “Even with the effort that we made to come back, it’s hard to keep up that energy, because you exert so much energy trying to play catch-up.”
While all of Georgetown’s losses have come at the hands of ranked teams, a game against unranked Syracuse this Sunday could be just what the Hoyas need in order to find that hidden scorer in their lineup.
By Robert N. Tracci
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