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

Record-Low Shooting Unravels Hoyas in Loss

Charles Nailen/The Hoya While junior guard Mary lisicky is the team’s second leading scorer, she struggled on offense in Georgetown’s 52-45 loss.

The law of probabilities could have swung in the Georgetown women’s basketball team’s favor, but more often than not the ball would not fall into the basket. Instead it glanced off the rim or off the glass and descended back into the fray, often into the Virginia players’ hands. And so went Sunday’s 52-45 loss to the Cavaliers (12-10, 5-5 ACC) in a disappointing performance for the Hoyas (10-11, 4-6 Big East), who set record lows for this season in scoring and shooting percentage.

“Our young women are giving it their all, but they are exhausted,” Georgetown Head Coach Pat Knapp said. “There is no reason for them to hang their heads.”

After Notre Dame choked off the Georgetown offense en route to winning an unspectacular rematch, the women could not ratchet up their scoring efforts despite a number of solid looks, especially from the outside. Fortunately for the Hoyas, the Virginia Cavaliers seemed to have worse luck than the home team in the first half.

Georgetown bounded out to the early start, looking far more comfortable on the floor than its rival. While Virginia played with their lineup, rotating the entire roster, Georgetown kept to a select few and pushed ahead on the score board. With 11:13 left, the Hoyas were up by six, 16-10. While the Cavaliers threatened, the Hoyas held on and eventually widened the margin to double-digits, 23-13, with a little under six minutes to play in the half.

From that point, a momentum shift took place. Whereas Virginia got into foul trouble early, Georgetown now found itself being singled out by the referees. This was coupled with a slack in offense as the Hoyas missed seven straight jump shots. The Cavaliers worked back into the game, evening the score at 23-23 with 1:50 on the clock. After Virginia turned the ball over, Georgetown was able to get in a final offensive push ending in a jumper from junior guard Bethany LeSueur which put the team up by two, 25-23, at intermission.

“I think at points we do get tired, but we get our second wind,” senior forward Rebekkah Brunson said. “Sometimes in the game we take a break.”

Despite the lead, Georgetown trailed in most statistics for the first half. The team shot a dismal 28 percent on 7-of-25 shooting, worse than its performance against Notre Dame. Virginia picked up the pace in the final minutes and finished the half shooting 9-of-25, or a respectable 36 percent. The Hoyas were saved by their constant trips to the free throw line, where they picked up 10 points off 17 attempts. Virginia had two points from free throws.

Both teams struggled in the opening minutes of the second half, but Georgetown managed to open some space between it and its competitor. With its rotation problems largely worked out, though, Virginia began to look steadier on the court and it soon closed the gap. Junior forward Brandi Teamer nailed a three-pointer with less than 13 minutes to play to level the score again at 31-31. Two and a half minutes later, she sank the go-ahead shot to put the Cavaliers up 35-33. This precipitated a flurry of action on offense for Virginia, who outscored its opponent 13-6.

“We didn’t play like we normally do. I just thought that the post game wasn’t really there in the first half, in the second half they were much better,” Virginia Head Coach Debbie Ryan said. “Once we were set on the court, we played a lot better.”

The Hoyas managed to quiet their opponents on offense, but could not jumpstart their own attack as shots failed to drop in. Georgetown brought the game within its reach when freshman guard Kate Carlin hit a three-pointer to bring the game within three, 48-45 with 40 seconds left. Trying to get the ball back, the Hoyas were forced to make fouls, which allowed the Cavaliers to push the game out of reach with free throws. Virginia gained the victory, 52-45, extending its record to 7-0 against Georgetown.

Georgetown capped off the loss with 15-of-57 shooting, for a new record low of 26.3 percent. Virginia did not set the basket on fire with its 17-of-54 shooting, either, but they did manage six crucial three-pointers to Georgetown’s two. The Hoyas struggled especially from the line, making only 50 percent of their 26 free throw attempts.

“We’ve got some people who have to work on their free throws,” Knapp said.

As in the Notre Dame game, Georgetown lost the battle of the boards, this time 50 to 39. The Hoyas came up short in defensive rebounds as the Cavaliers were allowed to grab a number of the home team’s missed shots, limiting their opportunity for second-chance points.

“Fatigue caught us on the boards,” Knapp said. “We didn’t chase down some rebounds in the last 10 minutes.”

Brunson was the brightest spot on the team, leading scoring and rebounding on both sides with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Coach Ryan of Virginia was not surprised; she had worked with Brunson on the silver medal-winning Team USA at the PanAm Games last summer. Perhaps the more interesting story belongs to LeSueur, who faced off against the school she transferred from after her freshman year.

“It’s another game when you think of it, but it’s a little different since I know most of these girls and I live with some of them,” LeSueur said. “It was awkward at first, but it was fun.”

The loss came to the Hoyas at a critical juncture in the season. While the game does not affect the team’s standing in its conference, the loss does hurt it chances for a NCAA tournament bid. Despite taking down some of the nation’s top teams, Georgetown has been too inconsistent on the court to take advantage of those wins. It now stands at No. 67 in the RPI, just outside the limits for the tournament.

“Ranked teams have come in here and lost,” Ryan said. “Georgetown has beaten some great, great teams. Both teams today were just jockeying for position.”

Its next battle, against Boston College, 7 p.m. on Wednesday at cDonough Gymnasium, will go a long way in determining where the team will be headed at the end of the season.

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