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’S BASKETBALL | Georgetown Sneaks Past ‘Cuse

Georgetown’s collective sigh of relief could be heard echoing throughout the cavernous Carrier Dome on Saturday afternoon, as the No. 15 Hoyas (22-6, 11-4 Big East) squeaked out a 65-62 victory in the final minute over a feisty Syracuse squad (17-12, 6-9 Big East).

In their previous matchup on Jan. 15, the then-No. 18Hoyas drubbed the Orange, 69-42, at McDonough Arena. Saturday’s game was much more competitive, as Syracuse had control for most of the game. The game came down to junior guard Sugar Rodgers’ three-point play with 39 seconds remaining, which sealed it for Georgetown.

“Of course we knew it was going to be a tough game,” Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “They had been playing extremely well and shooting the ball extremely well.”

The start of the game appeared to set the stage for another blowout. The Hoyas opened up a 10-3 lead on the heels of two quick buckets from senior forward Tommacina McBride, who was making her first start of the season. The tides quickly turned, however, as the Orange responded with a 13-3 run and led, 32-27, at halftime.

Georgetown started the second half just as it had started the first, using an 8-0 run in the opening minutes of the frame to take a 38-37 lead. Syracuse refused to shy away, though, Quickly regaining the lead and building it up as large as eight points.

But the Blue and Gray benefited from careless Syracuse ballhandling, snagging 15 steals and forcing 24 total turnovers. Syracuse’s lack of ball security allowed the Hoyas to remain close down the stretch, and the visitors tied the game on a Rodgers’ three with two and a half to play. That trey was the 251st of Rodgers’ career, the most in program history.

The pesky Orange kept on fighting, though. Senior forward Iasia Hemingway, who led Syracuse with 20 points and 15 rebounds, connected on a jump shot to put her team up, 62-60, with just over a minute remaining. Rodgers, however, was keen on responding.

Following a Georgetown timeout, the Hoyas inbounded the ball looking to pull even. They promptly gave the ball to Rodgers to allow her to do what she does best. Rodgers not only sank a shot to tie the game, but was fouled in the process and drained her free throw to give the Hoyas a 63-62 lead with 39 seconds to play.

“In the end, we spread the floor and gave Sugar an opportunity to get to the basket. She made a play and that’s what big-time players do,” Williams-Flournoy wrote in a statement.

Following a missed three by the hosts, senior guard Morgan Williams made a pair of free throws to give Georgetown a 65-62 lead. Another failed Syracuse three-point attempt as time expired gave Georgetown the win.

Rodgers finished with 21 points to lead the Hoyas. She had help from senior guard Rubylee Wright and senior forward Tia Magee, who scored 14 and 10 points, respectively. Wright added four steals and Magee pulled down nine boards as well.

The win clinched a double bye for Georgetown in the Big East tournament, which begins on March 2. Some lingering concerns remain heading into the tournament, however, most notably the Blue and Gray’s shooting struggles. The Hoyas shot a woeful 30.6 percent from the floor against Syracuse, lowering their season percentage to 35.9 percent — better only than Providence in the Big East. Moreover, Georgetown was outrebounded, 43-27, a statistic that could hurt Georgetown come tournament time.

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