Nov. 8, 2013
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University women's basketball team had five players in double figures, including three freshmen, in its season opening victory over the University of Richmond (0-1) Friday evening at McDonough Arena. In Head Coach Jim Lewis' debut, the squad posted the 82-78 victory to move to 1-0 on the year.
"Our team really found a win," said Lewis. "You can have a scouting report, but you have to roll with the way the game unfolds and I'm proud of them that they were able to show what we're capable of doing by building that 20-point lead and also that we were able to finish the game off."
Midway through the first half, the Blue & Gray began to pull away with a 9-0 run sparked by five points from freshman forward Faith Woodard (Brandon, Fla./Freedom). Richmond cut it to three late in the half, but a three-point play from freshman forward Shayla Cooper (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) gave the Hoyas some breathing room going into the break leading, 36-30.
Sophomore guard Katie McCormick (Leonardtown, Md./Saint Mary's Ryken) took over to start the second hitting a pair of big 3-pointers to put the Hoyas ahead by 12, 46-34. A 9-0 run over a two-minute span included seven points by senior guard Samisha Powell (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne) who hit a layup, two free throws and capped off the run with a trey to put the Blue & Gray up by 20, 56-36.
Georgetown held the lead going up by as much as 21 thanks to a Powell layup at 10:16, however, the game wasn't out of reach for the Spiders.
Richmond came roaring back putting together a 17-0 run to pull within three with 4:28 remaining in the game. With both McCormick and Powell fouled out, it was up to four freshmen and senior captain Andrea White (Lancaster, Va./Lancaster) to hold the lead.
Every time Richmond gained momentum, the Blue & Gray found an answer. A layup from freshman center Natalie Butler (Fairfax Station, Va./Lake Braddock) gave GU some space. Pulling within four at 2:46, Cooper came up with a big 3-pointer.
With 47 second remaining, Butler's three-point play made it 78-72, but it wasn't enough as Kristina King came down and hit a trey.
In the final seconds, the pressure was put on White as she went to the line twice and hit all four free throws down the stretch to hold on for the 82-78 victory.
Georgetown had five players in double figures, which was the first time since 2009. Cooper led the way with 17 points, while Powell added 15 and Butler posted the double-double in her first-career game with 13 points and as many boards. Powell also had eight assists and five steals in the contest.
The Hoyas shot 50 percent from the field and 50 percent from three, holding the Spiders to just 31.3 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from beyond the arc. Richmond narrowly outrebounded Georgetown, 49-46, but the Blue & Gray posted an impressive 14 blocks including five from Butler.
Lewis is just the third coach in program history to win his debut game. The first came from the inaugural coach of the program, Betty Underwood, who led the Hoyas to a 35-23 victory over Immaculata in 1970.
Georgetown will head to South Dakota State next Friday for a matchup against the Jackrabbits. The opening tip is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET. Video will be available through SDSU's athletic website.