March 18, 2012
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The fifth-seeded Georgetown University women's basketball squad (23-8) held on to capture the 61-56 victory over the Fresno State University Bulldogs (28-6) on Sunday in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament at Carmichael Arena on the campus of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. The Blue & Gray saw a double-digit lead dissipate down the stretch, but managed to hold on to defeat the 12th-seeded Bulldogs and advance to the second round.
After leading by as much as 17 points in the second half, the Hoyas were up by just three with 4:42 remaining in the game. A free throw by sophomore guard Samisha Powell (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne) put Georgetown ahead, 57-53, but the Bulldogs were able to cut it back to three.
Defensively, senior forward Adria Crawford (Alexandria, Va./Thomas Edison) took a charge and junior guard Sugar Rodgers (Suffolk, Va./King's Fork) posted a block to keep the Bulldogs at bay. Senior forward Tia Magee (Tulsa, Okla./Jenks) then came up with a steal and got fouled on the other end sinking a pair of free throws to make it a five-point game.
The defense forced two turnovers in the final seconds as Fresno State was forced to foul, but missed free throws by the Hoyas kept it a one possession game. With 17 seconds left, senior guard Morgan Williams (Dickinson, Texas/Dickinson) sank a free throw to make it 60-56.
The defense stayed strong in Fresno State's final possession and Rodgers sank a free throw making the final, 61-56.
Opening the game, the Hoyas won the tip and immediately took it to the basket as Magee completed the and-one on the first play of the game. Fresno State evened the score, but Georgetown ran in transition to build a 12-3 lead five minutes in.
The Bulldogs came back to pull within two midway through the first, but the Hoyas had an answer on the other end. Both teams experienced a scoring drought nearing the end of the first half. The Blue & Gray went more than four minutes without a field goal and Fresno State went five minutes without a basket.
Late in the half, Crawford converted the and-one as the Hoyas continued to roll.
Rodgers hit a three with 30 seconds left as the Hoyas went into the break leading, 33-23.
Magee led the way for Georgetown with 17 points as well as six rebounds. Crawford added 11 points and a squad-high nine boards, while Rodgers posted 11 points to round out those in double digits.
GU shot 37.3 percent in the game, but was outrebounded, 41-35. The Hoyas also forced 19 Fresno State turnovers on 11 steals.
"We either want to force teams to turn the ball over, or we want to force teams to play quicker than they probably really want to play," said Georgetown Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. "We knew Fresno State was going to shoot the 3. That's not any secret. The fact that they took only 29 was actually good, because I told my team they would take 40."
Sophomore guard Ki-Ki Moore led the way for Fresno State with 22 points, while junior Rosie Moult added 12 points and 10 boards.
Georgetown is now 4-0 in NCAA Tournament first round games including three in the past three seasons.
The Hoyas will face the winner of No. 4 Georgia Tech vs. No. 13 Sacred Heart on Tuesday evening at 7 p.m., at Carmichael Arena.
The game will be televised live on ESPN2. Fans can follow live stats at GUHoyas.com, or watch the game online at ESPN3.