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

Hoyas Clutch at Carrier Dome

Trailing by three with under a minute to go, Georgetown (17-10, 7-7 Big East) remained poised and made a pair of clutch baskets to walk out of the Carrier Dome with a 73-72 victory over Syracuse (15-11, 4-9).

Trailing 72-69, freshman guard Rubylee Wright found junior forward Jaleesa Butler for a layup to get back to 72-71 with 55 seconds left. A steal from freshman forward Latia Magee gave the Hoyas the ball back with 45 seconds remaining and a chance to take the lead. With 24 seconds left, junior guard Shanice Fuller calmly delivered a jumper from the elbow to go up 73-72, and a travel by Syracuse with two seconds left sealed the victory.

“I thought we played really well. We came out a little sluggish in the first half but we picked up the defensive intensity in the second half and that really made the difference,” Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy wrote in an e-mail. “I thought our girls played hard right up until the end. And with that type of effort it’s nice to see a good result.”

The slow start saw Georgetown fall behind early, as Syracuse took a quick 4-0 lead. The Orange used a 7-0 run to go up 23-16 before the Hoyas fought back with a 14-4 run to take a 30-27 lead on a Wright three-pointer. Syracuse soon recovered to take a 37-34 advantage into the break.

The back-and-forth play continued in the second half. Syracuse scored the first five points of the half to take an eight-point lead. A Fuller layup gave Georgetown a 58-51 lead with just under 10 minutes left, but the Orange once again came right back to take a 63-61 lead with 6:40 remaining. In the game’s tense final seven minutes, neither team led by more than three points.

In the second half, the Hoyas stepped up defensively, holding the Orange to only 26.7 percent shooting while forcing 10 turnovers. Syracuse senior guard Chandrea Jones scored a game-high 23 points, with junior forward Nicole Michael adding 13 points and 13 rebounds.

After having lost four straight games only a few weeks ago, Georgetown has now put together a four-game winning streak, and the Hoyas seem to be peaking just in time for the postseason. Whereas the young Hoyas were losing this type of close game a month ago, they seem to have come of age and figured out what it takes to win late.

“With so many freshmen, it took a while for the girls to adjust to Big East college basketball, and we have also had our upperclassmen really step up,” Williams-Flournoy wrote. “Our play has kept us in a lot of games this season but it’s really been everyone’s poise the last few games that have made the difference. We’ve made good, smart decisions at the end of games instead of panicking and trying to rush the shot and it has paid off.”

Fuller led Georgetown in scoring with 17 points, including shooting 6-for-6 from the free-throw line, while Butler made 8-of-11 shots for 16 points. Wright and Magee also scored in double figures coming off the bench, adding 13 and 10 points, respectively.

With senior guard Karee Houlette, sophomore guard Monica McNutt and freshman guard Adria Crawford struggling offensively – they shot just 3-for-19 combined from the field – those contributions off the bench proved to be the difference. The Hoyas’ bench outscored the Orange’s 29-15, 15-2 in the second half.

Georgetown hosts the Villanova Wildcats (17-10, 9-4) at 3 p.m. on Saturday for the Hoyas’ senior day. A win puts Georgetown above .500 in conference play and would help improve their seeding in the Big East Tournament.

“A win on Saturday would be great for our seniors; they’ve really stepped into their leadership roles as the season has progressed,” Williams-Flournoy wrote. “[Houlette, forward Krystle Hatton, and guard Beata Widding] have all been important parts of the team so it would be nice for them to have a win on senior day. Winning on Saturday and then against Seton Hall means more than just a sentimental end to the season. These games have implications for our Big East tournament seeding so we are focusing on each game individually and just going out there and doing what we do.”

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