Coming off one of its poorest shooting performances this season in a loss at Virginia Tech, the Georgetown women’s basketball team regained its rhythm and won in dominant fashion at Pittsburgh, 76-56.
Fresh from garnering her third Big East Rookie of the Week award this season, freshman forward Rebekkah Brunson continued her unrelenting play as she notched a career high 28 points, 8 rebounds and 5 steals. The Hoyas shot 48 percent for the game, and forced 24 turnovers with effective zone defense.
“Defensively, when you force the other team to make 24 turnovers, it’s a strong defensive effort,” Head Coach Pat Knapp said. “We ran our zone effectively and forced turnovers which led to easy fast break points.”
The first half was a seesaw battle between the two teams, with neither side gaining a sizable lead. Pittsburgh was up by as many as six, 14-8, with 12:13 remaining, but senior guard Porshia Jones scored consecutively on a fast break layup and a three-pointer to give Georgetown a 20-19 lead with 5:06 left. The Panthers answered with two layups of their own from Mandy Wittenmyer and Jackie Campbell, but the Hoyas then went on the first of two huge runs in this game. A layup from Brunson with 2:56 left in the half initiated a 10-0 run that lasted less than two minutes. Sophomore forward Zsuzanna Horvath scored six of Georgetown’s 10 unanswered points, enabling a 30-23 lead with a minute remaining. Pittsburgh cut the lead to three with a couple of layups at the end of the half to make it 30-27.
Brunson had 11 first-half points on 5-7 shooting, while both Horvath and senior guard Katie Smrcka-Duffy had six.
Pittsburgh managed to keep it close early in the second half as it was able to come as close as two points after a Celeste Barkley free throw with 13:20 remaining, making it 43-41. But the Hoyas then went on their biggest run of the game. With 9:44 left and Georgetown hanging onto a 50-46 lead, a Brunson shot once again started an 18-1 Hoya run that spanned more than five minutes. Strong defensive stands along with three steals and a blocked shot were key in the run, limiting Pittsburgh to gaining one free throw in that time period. By the time sophomore forward Shawntese Charles hit a fastbreak layup with 4:07 left, the Hoyas were up 68-47 and did not look back.
Horvath hit 7 of 8 shots for 14 points and grabbed a career high nine rebounds. The Hoyas also got 18 points from Smrcka-Duffy. But it was Brunson that led the charge.
“Becky played her best game of the year. She displayed great post-up moves and served as a good inside presence,” Knapp said. “She, along with Horvath, were strong on the boards, and basically she was all over the place.”
Georgetown returns home to McDonough Gymnasium on Saturday to play Providence at 3 p.m.
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Box Score vs. Pittsburgh (1/25)