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

UConn Run in Second Half Buries Georgetown

STORRS, Conn. – For one half, the Georgetown women’s basketball game showed up the No. 4 Connecticut Huskies before a sold out crowd of over 10,000 at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn. Leading 29-26, the Hoyas took advantage of a home team that shot poorly and looked distracted throughout the first 20 minutes. Georgetown, however, could not make the fantasy last forever, and as Connecticut’s shots finally sank in the second half, the Huskies pulled away to an easy victory, 69-51.

Connecticut jumped to an early but small 5-point lead, only to watch Georgetown strike back with 10 unanswered points. After this first four minutes of commotion, both offenses stalled out and the scoreboard remained unchanged for another four minutes. The Huskies broke the lull and soon roared back behind junior guard Maria Conlon’s three-point shooting.

Georgetown would not give up yet, and as Connecticut still struggled with shooting, the visiting team maintained the upper hand by a thin margin. Senior forward Rebekkah Brunson led the team through the last minutes of the second half with some support from junior guard Mary Lisicky and junior forward Varda Tamoulianis. By the time the buzzer sounded, Georgetown was up by three points, 29-26.

“To Georgetown’s credit they ran their stuff, they were very patient, got the shots and the looks that they wanted,” Connecticut Head Coach Geno Auriemma said.

While Duke had proved a week earlier that Connecticut could lose even at home, the Georgetown lead was still disconcerting to the spectators. The Hoyas played a solid game, but was helped out by an anemic group of Huskies. While Georgetown shot close to 40 percent, Connecticut connected on a mere 27.6 percent of its shots. Star senior guard Diana Taurasi had bad luck with most of her shots, going 1-of-10 on some good looks that failed to fall through the hoop. Lisicky led both teams in scoring with nine points.

Auriemma remained relatively calm about his team’s slow first half.

“Actually we didn’t play badly, we just shot horribly. But when you shoot well, everyone thinks you played well, and when you shoot badly, everyone thinks you played badly, but we didn’t play badly.”

Back on the court for the second half, both teams were slow to start scoring. But once the Huskies started dropping their shots, the Hoyas looked helpless to fight the changing tide. Georgetown nearly six minutes to grab its first basket, and even then it was only a free throw. Connecticut’s near-perfect passing talents were in full force, sending the ball deep inside or to the fall corners where players were on tap to fire in another basket. The spectators, having woken up from their first-half nightmare, sat back and watched as the Huskies took control of the game. Halfway through the second half, Connecticut had a 14-point lead, 47-33, which would only increase.

“It was on offense and execution, and putting the ball in the basket was our downfall. We have to score points. I think the tempo was where we wanted it and we really didn’t get pressed that much; we only had one turnover,” Georgetown Head Coach Pat Knapp said as to why the team had faltered in the second half. “They decided to go inside more and get Diana [Taurasi] open inside more, run some difficult cuts where our kids had to back off. We didn’t step up in those situations.”

Freshman Liz Sherwood added seven points in the last three minutes and made some key plays that kept Georgetown down for the count. When time had expired, Connecticut collected its 17th consecutive victory over Georgetown, 69-51.

Besides stepping up on offense, the Huskies took out the Hoyas’ top two scorers, Brunson and Lisicky, in the second half. Brunson hit one field goal while Lisicky remained scoreless. In their stead, Tamoulianis and freshman guard Kate Carlin were the top two scorers with 13 and 11 points, respectively. While Connecticut shot near 50 percent in the last 20 minutes, it was Georgetown’s turn to shoot around the 28 percent mark. The Huskies also connected on eight three-pointers as Taurasi led the game with 21 points. Sophomore guard Ann Strother pulled her wait for the Huskies with a game-high eight assists. Georgetown fared well in one particular area: rebounding. Despite losing by almost 20 points, the Hoyas pulled down 40 boards, only three less than the Huskies, and led in that stat for most of the game.

With the loss, the Hoyas fall to 7-6 for the season and 1-2 in the Big East. The team has lost four of its last five games, with its only win coming as a 76-73 upset over Notre Dame, Georgetown’s first win the team as a conference opponent. The last time they beat the Irish was in 1988.

“We dropped one at Seton Hall and then we turn around and pull together and beat Notre Dame,” Knapp said. “The same thing applies here, you have to move on and live in the present.”

Hoya Staff Writer Mary Goundrey contributed to this article.

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