Feb. 15, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS - Freshman center Natalie Butler (Fairfax Station, Va./Lake Braddock) pulled down 15 boards to break the Georgetown University women's basketball record for rebounds in a season in a 67-59 loss at Butler University (12-13, 7-7 BIG EAST) on Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Georgetown is 8-18 on the season and 2-12 in BIG EAST Conference play.
Butler finished the game with 341 rebounds on the season breaking the previous record of 336 set by Rebekkah Brunson in 2003-04. She also broke the BIG EAST Conference record for boards in a rookie campaign with 188 rebounds during conference play surpassing Brunson who had 176 as a freshman.
"We couldn't be more proud of Natalie," said Georgetown Head Coach Jim Lewis. "The consistency with which she's played this rookie season, she came in doing what she's doing right now and she's doing it better and better. Her overall play, particularly in rebounding, is really exceptional."
With three minutes remaining and trailing by five, Butler and senior captain Andrea White (Lancaster, Va./Lancaster) connected on back-to-back layups as the Hoyas forced a turnover to cut it to one, 57-56. Free throws gave BU the lead, and although GU had a good look at the basket, it bounced out and the Bulldogs hit a trey on the other end.
Forced to foul, the Blue & Gray couldn't come back even with a late 3-pointer eventually falling, 67-59.
White led the Hoyas with 18 points and nine rebounds, while freshman guard Faith Woodard (Brandon, Fla./Freedom) posted 15 points and four assists. Butler notched her 20th double-double of the season with 10 points and 15 boards.
Georgetown shot better than the Bulldogs hitting 39.7 percent from the field and outrebounded them 41-31.
"The main thing we talked about after was when the game was on the line, we had three areas in our defensive efforts which cost us," said Lewis. "We didn't close out on shooters, our transition defense and the inability to keep the ball out of the middle. Three fundamental areas of defense hurt us."
It was a battle in the paint to begin the game and Butler managed to gain a 13-5 lead.
Georgetown tied it up on four-consecutive buckets from White who made second-chance points in the crowded lane. A fast-break layup from sophomore guard Katie McCormick (Leonardtown, Md./St. Mary's Ryken) gave GU its first lead of the game as the Hoyas managed a 15-0 run spanning more than eight minutes. The run included eight points from White and five by McCormick.
As the minutes wound down in the first, the game sped up as the squads scored off of turnovers on both ends. A late three and pair of free throws from Butler tied it at 26 going into the break.
The Bulldogs heated up from beyond the arc as the second half began and Butler took the lead. The Hoyas fought back, but every time GU had momentum the Bulldogs stopped it with a trey. The Blue & Gray kept it a one or two possession game as the minutes ticked away.
Woodard kept the Hoyas in it with brilliance at the line and White continued to be solid in the paint.
Butler went up by as much as seven, 53-46, but GU came roaring back. This set up the final exciting minutes, but the Blue & Gray couldn't pull it out.
Georgetown will be back in action on Tuesday as the squad hosts No. 24/RV St. John's at 8 p.m., at McDonough Arena. Live stats and a webcast will be available through www.GUHoyas.com.