March 9, 2014
CHICAGO - The No. 14/16 Georgetown University women's basketball squad (11-20) picked up a big victory Saturday evening in the opening round of the BIG EAST Tournament at McGrath-Phillips Arena in Chicago, Ill. The eighth-seeded Hoyas downed the ninth-seeded Xavier University Musketeers (8-23), 56-37, to advance to the tournament quarterfinals.
"I thought tonight we played a really scrappy team in Xavier," said Georgetown Head Coach Jim Lewis. "I want to give them credit for pushing us. We got out to a nice little lead early on, but the game is a game of runs, and they came back on us like good teams do. I think Xavier did a really good job of doubling our posts, taking away some touches and shot opportunities."
Georgetown had three players in double figures as freshman guard Faith Woodard (Brandon, Fla./Freedom) and sophomore guard Logan Battle (Springfield, Va./West Springfield) both posted 13 points. Freshman center Natalie Butler (Fairfax Station, Va./Lake Braddock) managed her 24th double-double of the season with 11 points and 13 boards as well as six blocks to her credit.
Georgetown outrebounded Xavier, 47-24, and held the Musketeers to 27.1 percent shooting including 13.0 percent in the second half.
Woodard dominated the opening minutes with GU's first six points. Senior forward Andrea White (Lancaster, Va./Lancaster) added four, Butler had a layup, Battle sank a 3-pointer and Woodard had a put back to post a 17-5 run over the first nine minutes of the game.
The Musketeers answered with an 11-0 run of their own hitting a pair of treys as well as connecting the three-point play to cut it to four, 20-16.
As the time ticked down, the Musketeers forced turnovers and hit from the outside as the Hoyas went cold. An XU 3-pointer at 2:57 tied the game at 22.
The teams traded buckets in the final minutes and a late GU run including a big 3-pointer by freshman guard Jade Martin (Bloomington, Minn./John F. Kennedy) made it 33-26 at the break.
It was sophomore guard Katie McCormick's (Leonardtown, Md./St. Mary's Ryken) turn to take over as the second half opened. McCormick sank back-to-back jumpers to help the Blue & Gray with a 6-0 run. A 3-pointer by Battle then sparked a 7-0 Georgetown run as the Hoyas went up by as much as 17. The GU offense began to click and the defense forced stops on the other end.
Defense was the key as Georgetown allowed just three Musketeer points over the first 14 minutes of the second half allowing the Blue & Gray to build a significant lead. Xavier had just one field goal on the books for a majority of the half as the defense smothered the Musketeers.
"We know that this is crunch time, and that this is what we came here to do, and we just executed," said Woodard. "At halftime, our coaches were telling us `defense, defense, defense,' and that's what they've been preaching all season. We just buckled down, and we knew it was either you win or you go home. We didn't come here to lose, so defense is what we did."
In the closing minutes, Georgetown cruised to the 56-37 victory. It was the lowest points allowed of the season for the Hoyas
The Hoyas will face top-seeded DePaul University on Sunday in the quarterfinals of the tournament at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill. The game will be streamed live on the BIG EAST website and live stats will also be available. The opening tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
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