The women’s basketball team (10-6, 1-2 Big East) made its final trip to the Carrier Dome for a Big East contest this past Saturday and left upstate New York with a disappointing 86-56 blowout loss. The Hoyas kept it close in the first half, down only 34-30 at the whistle, but the Orange (14-1, 2-0 Big East) hung an impressive 52 points on them after the break.
That the loss came against a fierce rival, Head Coach Keith Brown explained, only made it hurt that much more.
“I don’t think this group understands what the last group did, [which is] we don’t lose to Syracuse,” a disappointed Brown said. “We can lose to anybody else, but to lose to Syracuse is a sin. It’s an embarrassment to the University to lose to Syracuse — that is how serious that rivalry is between us on the men’s side, but on the girls’ side, it’s even worse.”
While shooting guard Sugar Rodgers was held under 20 points for the first time all season — she still led the team with 17 but shot just 5-21 from the field — Brown was quick to defend his star.
“Everybody played bad. That’s one of those games that you play and throw it out the window, don’t even look at the tape,” Brown said. “I don’t think we played as hard as we usually play. I’m not worried about Sugar — she can get 20 [points] in her sleep.”
Georgetown was outrebounded 54-38 in the loss and tallied only seven assists to Syracuse’s 21. Rodgers led the Hoyas in rebounding with nine; no matter how impressive it is for a 5-foot-11 guard to lead a team in rebounding, though, the statistic speaks volumes about the deficiencies in the supporting cast, who will undoubtedly have to come up with larger contributions if Georgetown is to be dancing come March.
But while the rebounding and assists numbers were poor, it was the 23 turnovers that plagued the Hoyas the most on Saturday, as Syracuse was able to press all game long and take Georgetown out of its offensive rhythm.
“What we have to do is stop being so tentative. A lot of the 1-2-2 presses that they run we actually invented here at Georgetown, and now other schools are doing it,” Brown said. “Sometimes they don’t want to make mistakes, and when you’re trying not to make mistakes, that is when you [actually] make that is when you [actually] make mistakes, we’ve got to get to the point where we stop thinking about everything and just play.”
Junior forward Andrea White has averaged 10.7 points and 5.4 boards this season but came up with only four points and three boards against the Orange. Similarly, senior center Sydney Wilson was well under her season averages of 7.1 points and 5.5 boards, recording only four and one, respectively.
Needless to say, the Blue and Gray cannot afford to allow those types of performances to continue.
“Andrea has done a good job, but she has had nagging injuries, so she hasn’t been at 100 percent for about a month and a half,” Brown said. “We need Sydney to step up — she’s 6’6” in the middle — [and] when Sydney plays well, we play well. If Sydney plays better, we play better.”
Luckily, Brown and his players will have another shot at Syracuse when the Orange travel to McDonough on Feb. 12.
“To say that this loss hurt would not be the right word. The word I would use is that it bothered me a great deal,” Brown said. “It hadn’t been a rivalry — we won seven in a row and had beaten them the last four years — but we look forward to the opportunity when they come back down here to return the favor.”