After winning its season opener last weekend, the Georgetown women’s basketball team struggled in its second weekend of competition, dropping games to South Dakota State and No. 11 California.
On Friday, the Hoyas (1-2) traveled to Brookings, S.D., to take on the Jackrabbits. Georgetown fell behind early and were unable to complete the comeback, losing to South Dakota State (2-2), 86-80.
“A lot of people don’t realize how good of a program [South Dakota State] is,” Head Coach Jim Lewis said. “They have five consecutive Summit League championships. They have a winning mentality, and they have good players.”
Georgetown quickly fell behind as South Dakota State opened the game on an 11-2 run. In the first half, theJackrabbits continued to take advantage of Hoya turnovers as they expanded their lead to as many as 15 points.
Led by sophomore guard Katie McCormick, who had 16 second-half points, Georgetown closed in on South Dakota State in the second half. With just over five minutes remaining in the contest, senior forward and co-captain Andrea White scored a put-back layup to cut theJackrabbits’ lead to two.
That was the closest the Hoyas would get, as the Hoyas couldn’t secure a stop down the stretch, and ultimately, theJackrabbits eked out the 86-80 victory. Despite the loss, Lewis had some positive takeaways from the game.
“[South Dakota State] plays really well at home, and the crowd was tremendous,” Lewis said. “But we learned so much. We were down 15 against South Dakota State, and we cut it to two, and then had the chance to win the game. We are putting ourselves in positions to be successful.”
Three Georgetown players finished in double figures. Freshman center Natalie Butler led the Hoyas with 20 points and also grabbed 13 rebounds. McCormick finished with 18 points, and freshman forward Shayla Cooper recorded her first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Hoyas returned to McDonough Arena on Sunday when they played host to California (2-2). The Golden Bears, riding a two-game losing streak into the game, were desperate for a win. On Friday, Cal suffered a heartbreaking loss to George Washington. In the upset, the Golden Bears had two opportunities to tie the game in the final seconds but were ultimately unsuccessful and fell 75-72.
“Cal is the 10th-ranked team in the country and they are more athletic than we are,” Lewis said.
The Hoyas were also at a disadvantage because they were without Cooper, whose status at game time was “suspended indefinitely” due to “conduct detrimental to the team,” according to Sports Information Director Barbara Barnes. According to a statement released by Barnes on Monday, Cooper was not suspended and has decided to transfer.
Throughout the game, the Golden Bears were able to take advantage of the Blue and Gray’s turnovers. The Hoyas committed 28 turnovers, which Cal converted into 40 points.
“No disrespect at all [to Cal], but the pressure didn’t cause that much of a problem and should not have caused that much of a problem,” Lewis said. “To me, [they were] unforced turnovers and live turnovers. … You can’t have that many live turnovers because they lay them up on the other end.”
The Hoyas were also hampered by foul trouble. Georgetown committed 23 team fouls, and freshman forward Faith Woodard fouled out of the contest.
“[Fouling] is becoming too much of a consistent theme,” Lewis said. “We have to be smarter with the effort. A good basketball player does not foul out, and we have had three consecutive games with … players fouling out.”
Senior point guard and co-captain Samisha Powell missed a majority of the second half after receiving her fourth foul just seconds into the half.
“It hurt a lot [not having Powell]. She’s our starting point; we need her in the game,” McCormick said.
Butler led all scorers with 16 points and also grabbed a game-high 15 boards. This was the third double-double in as many games for the freshman.
“Butler has the right attitude, and that is the bottom line with her,” Lewis said. “She works, and she is just going to get better and better. Already, teams have doubled her a lot. She has a good feel for the game. … It’s our job to continue to her growth.”
Butler was named Big East rookie of the week for her efforts in the weekend’s games.
Georgetown will be back in action next Saturday when they play at home against Princeton.