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

Women Fail to Meet Expectations in 2003-04

With time expiring on the overhead scoreboards in the Hartford Civic Center, the players’ faces on the Georgetown women’s basketball team conveyed a sense of frustration and disappointment.

Despite an earlier lead, the Hoyas had fallen permanently behind the Virginia Tech Hokies, spelling the end of an intermittently strong but generally underwhelming season.

“I’m disappointed, but I’m not frustrated and I’m not upset with the young women,” Head Coach Pat Knapp said.

Finishing 13-15, Georgetown wrapped up its season in the first round of the Big East tournament without a shot at the postseason despite wins over four top-50 RPI teams. It was a season of possibilities, with senior forward Rebekkah Brunson leading the team with her indomitable post play, but in the end too many close losses and missed chances added up to a season that came up short of expectations.

“[Making the Big Dance] should be our expectation – that’s it. We have to turn it around. We can make a few more shots, we can make a few more stops we can be tougher mentally, and then we’re in that bracket,” Knapp said.

The Big East provided some heartbreakers and pleasant surprises for the Hoyas. While Georgetown managed to befuddle Connecticut and its legions of fans for much of the game, a second-half drive left the Hoyas with its worst loss of the season, 69-51. Miami stopped Georgetown after two overtimes and Rutgers stole a victory on the last play of the game.

On the other hand, Virginia Tech was soundly stomped out, 70-50, in McDonough while Head Coach Henry Peretta and his Villanova Wildcats were left speechless when their offense deflated in a 53-48 Hoya triumph.

“Our defensive and rebounding skills improved immensely from a year ago,” Knapp said. “We played hard on a regular basis and prepared hard. If we didn’t do that, we wouldn’t be taking BC or Rutgers to the wire or Connecticut for 30-some strong minutes or whoever it is.”

Despite the quality victories, Georgetown stalled in February.

The team’s 10-9 record left it in a precarious position as three tough contests lay ahead that would go a long way in shaping the team’s postseason ambitions. In a rematch at Notre Dame the Irish took revenge with a 66-52 drumming of their opponent. The team let Virginia slip away 52-45 in a flat performance from the free-throw line in Georgetown’s final non-conference game. The Hoyas hit the bottom with a 68-58 loss to Boston College as the team’s momentum dissipated in the final five minutes.

After that, Georgetown cruised over easier opponents but could not keep up with its elite competition, culminating with repeat losses to Rutgers and Boston College and a 13-14 regular season record.

“What’s the difference between 13 wins and 17 wins?” Knapp said. “I can give you four games right there: Maryland, Rutgers and Miami on the road, and the home game against Richmond. They all came down to a pass, a layup, a shot, a catch. Our performance wasn’t a day-to-day difference; it was a minute-to-minute difference.”

The coup de grace came in the first round of the conference tournament when Georgetown, seeded ninth and true to preseason predictions, failed to put away eight-seeded Virginia Tech. The Hokies bounced back for a 56-47 win to ice any postseason plans for the Hoyas, who had to settle for a below .500 season.

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