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

At Home, Hoyas Hold Off Chippewas’ Late Rally

On an afternoon that saw breakthrough performances from much of Georgetown’s highly regarded freshman class, it was senior forward Krystle Hatton and junior guard Shanice Fuller who sealed the Hoyas’ third win, 82-77.

Trailing by 19 with 8:13 remaining, the Central Michigan Chippewas mounted a late charge to narrow the deficit to just four. Senior guard Angel Chan’s jumper with 57 seconds left made the score 77-72, and the Chippewas put on the full court press. But Fuller broke through it and found Hatton for a layup that energized the home crowd and killed Central Michigan’s comeback hopes.

“I was just focusing,” Hatton said. “I was focusing because I didn’t start off good.” She shot only 2-of-9 for the game, but the last one preserved the victory in the home opener. “It feels really great, really great. We needed this,” Hatton said.

Fuller’s late free-throw shooting proved to be crucial, as she once again showed why she is the Hoyas’ go-to player down the stretch. Besides the assist to Hatton, her six free throws in the final two minutes gave her 19 points for the game and prevented a total collapse.

The Chippewas’ rally was due in large part to Hoya turnovers, but Georgetown cleaned up their play in the final minutes. “We just let them get back in it, so we just had to refocus and take care of the ball,” Fuller said.

The victory gives Georgetown its first 3-0 start under Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy, and even if it turned out be a little closer than expected – the Hoyas will take it. “It just felt good to be home and get a win,” Fuller said.

Williams-Flournoy said she was generally pleased with the team’s play. She spoke of taking better care of the ball, but praised the team for bouncing back from the Chippewas’ second-half run and putting the game away.

Junior forward Kaihla Szunko led Central Michigan with 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting before fouling out with 1:11 remaining. Junior guard Britni Houghton, a preseason All-MAC selection who averaged 24 points entering the game, was held to 14 but led the Chippewas with eight rebounds and five assists.

Georgetown won, despite shooting 1-of-10 from behind the arc, because of their dominance inside where they outrebounded Central Michigan 54-35. The Hoyas had 26 offensive rebounds to the Chippewas’ 12, leading to 27 second-chance points, while outscoring the Chippewas in the paint 54-32. “We couldn’t keep them off the glass,” Central Michigan Head Coach Sue Guevara said. “They’re just a lot bigger and stronger.”

Freshman forward Latia Magee led the Hoyas with 23 points and repeatedly drove to the hoop for easy layups. At 6-foot-2 and with an exceptionally quick first step, she slashed through the Chippewas’ defense at will and posed a matchup nightmare for the Hoyas’ opponents. Freshman guard Adria Crawford added 13 points and showed a tremendous willingness to mix it up inside. The six-footer attacked the glass all afternoon, grabbing 11 rebounds, including nine on the offensive boards. Both have cracked Georgetown’s starting lineup in all three games this season, and this rate they appear to be fixtures there for the next four years.

Freshmen Rubylee Wright and Amanda Reese also showed remarkable potential coming off the bench. Wright, a 5-foot-3 point guard, repeatedly created plays off the dribble, often finding teammates for easy baskets and recording seven assists. She shot just 1-of-9 from the field, but her quickness and ability to distribute will be a tremendous asset to the team moving forward.

Reese, a 6-foot-2 forward, scored 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds, at times looking like the Hoyas’ best option inside – but she fouled out in only 15 minutes of action.

“[Some come] off the bench, some of them start. . That’s what we need to get wins, we’ve got to have everyone stepping up,” Fuller said. “It’s great. Last year we kind of struggled with bench players, but the freshmen, they’re coming in, and they’re playing their roles.”

Georgetown hosts Hampton University (0-3) tonight. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. at McDonough Gymnasium. They then head to California for the Loyola-Marymount Tournament, where they face North Dakota State in the first round on Friday. Idaho State and the tournament hosts faceoff earlier in the day Friday.

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