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 Struggle With Losing ’05-’06 Season

Eight was not enough. Following a 7-4 start in its non-conference games, Georgetown had to feel good about the performance of its underhanded squad. Then-sophomore forward Kieraah Marlow had emerged as its leading scorer, and last year’s standout freshman Katrina Wheeler, a local product and an all-American at Theodore Roosevelt High School (D.C.), was tearing down rebounds at a torrid pace.

Then the road took a twisted turn to Storrs, Conn., and things got tough fast. The plate of cupcakes that Georgetown devoured at Savannah State, Mount St. Mary’s and Florida Atlantic was not an ample appetizer for the dog-eat-dog Big East.

On Jan. 4, Connecticut tore into Georgetown to the tune of 80-38. The Hoyas only made 13 field goals in the game, and six of the seven players who suited up had to play 30 minutes or more.

The game against the Huskies, the first of 16 Big East contests, was a portent of the rest of the year. While the Hoyas never sank as low as 38 points again, the team did have trouble putting the ball in the basket, reaching 70 points once and ending the season with an average of 58 points per game.

Unfortunately, the Hoyas’ opposition earned 10 more points per contest during the stretch.

While Georgetown struggled late in the season, losing 11 of its last 13, the team showed a certain resiliency against teams that were clearly superior.

A six-point loss against then-No.16 DePaul at home on Feb. 15 was a prime example of the Hoyas playing at their best against top-notch competition. After the first half, DePaul led 31-25, but Georgetown stormed out of the locker room.

Led by Wheeler’s rash rebounding and arlow’s superb shooting, the Hoyas took a 32-31 lead, a feat that seemed improbable earlier in the game when they trailed 26-15 to a sure-fire NCAA tournament team.

The lead was short lived, however, as DePaul exerted its dominance, pushing the tempo of the game to a break-neck pace while slowly rebuilding its lead to nine points. A late Hoya rally cut the deficit to four with two minutes to play, but the Blue Demons held on in one of the closest contests of their Big East schedule.

Marlow had 22 points and Carlin added 12, but foul trouble decimated Georgetown’s eight-person roster. Center Christine Whitt (COL ’06) averaged more fouls than points per game, and unproductive statistic for a leader that the team needed to step up.

Lack of depth on the bench left the Hoyas with four starters who always seemed to be out of breath. Carlin, Heidloff, Marlow and guard Bethany LeSueur (MSB ’06) all averaged at least 32 minutes of floor time a game.

To complicate matters, Tyburski missed time at the end of the season, forcing Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy to play with a rotation of six. In Tyburski’s absence, Whitt averaged one minute per game, forcing Wheeler, Marlow, LeSueur and Heidloff to never leave the floor. In Big East basketball, having a rotation of six players with no fresh legs off the bench, 40 minutes of basketball day in and day out could whither a team down to nothing.

The weary starting lineup’s inability to score often forced the Hoyas to play catch-up. Georgetown’s average of 27 first-half points often resulted in insurmountable halftime deficits, and the Blue and Gray spent many second halves winded and behind ” not a recipe for victory.

Georgetown led at halftime in only one game last year, a 79-67 win over Providence on Jan. 11.

The Hoyas won’t be as shorthanded in 2006, and the team’s leaders in baskets, rebounds and assists all return this season. With a roster reenergized by five freshmen and one transfer, Williams-Flournoy’s should be able to focus more on her players dropping the ball in the bucket instead of dropping from exhaustion.

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