- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 15, 2012

Georgetown’s sights are set on the dawning new season as it prepares to open NCAA women’s basketball tournament play on Sunday afternoon. While a group of reporters huddled around the Hoyas on Monday evening after the selection show, the players faced the cameras grinning from ear to ear.

Neither coaches nor players spoke regretfully about the recent loss to West Virginia at the Big East tournament, where the Hoyas scored a season-low 32 points. Everyone focused on the upcoming tournament and spoke fervently about the chance to begin anew.

“It’s a new season,” said junior Sugar Rodgers, who leads the Hoyas in points per game with 18.9. “We’re preparing for the NCAA tournament. We’re not even looking in the past anymore.”

This determined attitude was a common theme as coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said, “That’s what we do, we break our season down in parts. We have our conference, we have our non-conference, you have the Big East tournament, and now we have the NCAA tournament. Anything that we do now, we have to do it better.”

Georgetown, 22-8, is the Des Moines region’s fifth-seed. The Hoyas will face No. 12 Fresno State Sunday at 12:20 p.m. in Chapel Hill, N.C. The winner will play again Tuesday against the winner of a game between No. 4 Georgia Tech and No. 13 Sacred Heart.

Fresno State (28-5) will make its fifth straight NCAA tournament appearance led by Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year Ki-Ki Moore, who averages 16 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.

Last year, the Bulldogs played North Carolina in the first round and lost 82-68. They are looking for their first tournament win in program history.

“[Georgetown is] a good program,” said Fresno State coach Adrian Wiggins in a release on the Bulldogs’ athletic website. “We are very familiar with their style. It’s a fast-paced style. So it’s fun for our players to experience that because we try to play fast.”

On its third trip to the tournament in four years, Georgetown is looking to once again claim a spot in the Sweet 16 and make its debut in the Elite Eight.

“There’s a lot of motivation there to go out and show people what we can do,” said senior Tia Magee. “We’ve gotten better each year in the NCAA tournament, so we all plan on keeping that going.”

Magee and the Hoyas are set on proving what Georgetown basketball is all about and the tournament is the perfect opportunity.

“We had practice today, and it was a really, really good, intense practice,” said Magee on Monday. “Everybody’s just really excited and pumped. You can tell that everybody has that passion.”

“We’re just ready to play,” said senior point guard Rubylee Wright. “And we’re just going to take it and see as far as we can go.”