Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Knights Charge Past Hoyas in First Big East Game

Doomed by difficulties on the boards and at the foul line, No. 11 Georgetown (7-3, 0-1 Big East) suffered a 70-53 road loss to Rutgers (6-3, 1-0 Big East) on Thursday night in the teams’ conference opener.

With the defeat, the Hoyas dropped consecutive games for the first time this season and fell to 3-17 all-time against the Knights, who are 15-1 all-time in Big East openers.

The two teams were tied at the break, but junior guard April Sykes led a Knights’ charge early in the second frame, nailing three treys as the hosts pulled away with a 20-6 scoring run. Rutgers maintained a comfortable cushion for the remainder of the game, not once allowing Georgetown within less than nine over the last 15 minutes and maintaining a double-digit advantage for the final 9:48 of play.

The Hoyas shot 38 percent from the field compared to the Knights’ 34.7 percent, but this was one of very few battles won by the visitors. Free-throw percentage proved to be the decisive factor on the night, as the Blue and Gray converted only 44.4 percent of their shots from the line while the hosts sunk 69.8 percent of their attempts.

Rutgers sophomore center Monique Oliver nearly doubled the Hoyas’ production from the charity stripe all by herself with 15 free throws, as Georgetown shot a mediocre 8-for-18 from the line. The Knights, on the other hand, converted 30 of their staggering 43 attempted foul shots.

Oliver also played an essential role on the boards, hauling in a career-high 17 rebounds for her first collegiate double-double. After grabbing 22 more boards than Miami in their previous game, the Hoyas were outrebounded by a margin of 18 against the Knights; the hosts’ 45-27 domination on the glass included a 21-11 advantage in offensive rebounds. Rutgers capitalized on its extended possessions, outscoring Georgetown 27-5 on second chance points.

Early on, it looked as though Georgetown would respond well to Tuesday’s tough overtime loss in Miami. The Hoyas jumped out to an early advantage over the Knights, draining eight of their first nine shots. Sophomore guard Sugar Rodgers contributed nine early points from downtown as the Hoyas nailed their first four three-point attempts, building a 20-10 lead within the first six minutes of action.

The Blue and Gray went cold from that point on, however, shooting just 2-for-17 from the field to close out the half. The hosts, meanwhile, tallied 10 unanswered points just before the break, stealing the momentum from Georgetown on their way to the locker room.

The evening was an uncharacteristic role reversal for the Hoyas, who are accustomed to dictating the pace of the game with their high defensive pressure. While Georgetown averages a plus-6.3 turnover margin per game, it lost the turnover battle to Rutgers, who also amassed more steals and more blocks.

Oliver led all scorers with a career-high 21 points. The Blue and Gray were led by 19 points from Rodgers, and junior guard Rubylee Wright added 13 points and a game-high five assists in the losing effort.

Georgetown looks to get back into winning form this afternoon against Rider. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. in Lawrenceville, N.J.

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