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

Defense Key as GU Calms Red Storm

The Hoyas played suffocating defense and controlled the boards to ease past the St. John’s Red Storm 64-48 Tuesday night in Queens, N.Y. Georgetown (12-4, 2-1 Big East) disrupted the St. John’s (13-3, 1-2) offense the entire night, holding the Red Storm to a season-low 48 points and preventing any easy baskets, as evidenced by St. John’s 27.6 percent shooting from the field. The Hoyas also put on a display of interior superiority, outrebounding the Red Storm 47-27.

“We came out with great defensive intensity,” Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said.

The game started slowly, with the first several possessions resulting only in missed shots and turnovers, until junior guard Shanice Fuller got things going for the Hoyas with a short jumper on one possession and a free throw on the next. Then Hoya senior guard Karee Houlette made her first basket of the evening, a sight that would be much too common for the Red Storm. Houlette scored a career-high 22 points to lead all scorers, and the Hoyas rode their hot shooter through a first half in which only Houlette scored more than five points.

“Karee’s shooting the ball well right now,” Williams-Flournoy said. “She’s attacking the basket, being aggressive as well.”

St. John’s struggled offensively in the first half, shooting 8-of-27 for 26 points; yet, their occasional press gave the Hoyas problems on the other side of the court. Despite Houlette’s 15 first-half points and shooting percentage of 44, the Hoyas held only a six-point lead at the break, in large part due to 11 turnovers.

“We didn’t handle the press well,” Williams-Flournoy said. “We can’t turn the ball over that many times.”

The second half started the same way as the first, with very little scoring in the opening minutes. At the first media time out, Houlette had Georgetown’s only basket, and freshman forward Da’Shena Stevens had a free throw for the only St. John’s point.

The Hoyas returned from the time out with an offensive outburst over the next four possessions to break the game open. Three-pointers from sophomore guard/forward Monica McNutt and Houlette put Georgetown ahead 40-29, and a pair of baskets and a free throw from junior forward Jaleesa Butler gave the Hoyas a 45-31 lead. From then on the Hoyas’ defense ensured that the Red Storm never got the deficit within single-digits – the difference stayed between 10 and 17 points the rest of the way. With St. John’s forced to foul in the final minutes, Georgetown made a few late free throws to seal the victory.

“I think everybody just went out and played as best we could to get a big road win,” Houlette said. When asked about her career night, her answer was short and simple: “I made my first shot. I kept shooting, and they kept going in.”

Butler and Fuller carried the load in the second half for Georgetown, scoring 12 and eight points in the second half and 14 and 11 for the game, respectively. Butler led the Hoyas with four assists, while Fuller had three. McNutt led all players with nine rebounds.

The win puts the Hoyas back above .500 in the Big East with No.7 Louisville coming to town for a 4 p.m. Saturday tip-off. Williams-Flournoy knows her team will have to come out and play well if they are to pull off the upset.

“We’ve got to come out with the same intensity as we did against St. John’s,” she said.

The opponent’s high ranking doesn’t seem to faze the Hoyas’ latest hot hand, however.

“I think it’s anybody’s game, anyone could win,” Houlette said. “If we go out there and play the defense we’ve played and run like we’re supposed to, it’s going to be a good game.”

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