Nov. 23, 2013
WASHINGTON - Natalie Butler's (Fairfax Station, Va./Lake Braddock) last-second layup was the final push the Georgetown University women's basketball team needed to get the 66-64 victory over the Princeton University Tigers (2-2) Saturday afternoon at McDonough Arena. The young Hoyas stayed composed as the clock ran down to get the last shot and improve to 2-2 overall.
"I'm really happy for the entire team, we had four excellent days of practice and out focus and attention to detail showed today," said Georgetown Head Coach Jim Lewis. "Princeton is a very good team and it was an exciting game."
After a 3-pointer with 1:51 remaining tied it, Georgetown came down looking to score. The Hoyas couldn't find the bottom of the net, but on the other end, the defense stopped the Tigers to give GU another chance. With the shot clock winding down, freshman forward Faith Woodard (Brandon, Fla./Freedom) took a trey that missed, but she hustled to get her own rebound. Woodard passed the ball to senior point guard Samisha Powell (Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne) who let the clock wind down before lobbing it in to Butler who finished with just 4.4 seconds remaining in the contest.
The Hail Mary would be off as Georgetown held on for the 66-64 victory.
The Hoyas stepped out to an early lead in the contest going ahead by as much as eight a few minutes into the first. The Tigers battled back and hit a 3-pointer at 9:39 for their first lead of the game.
Georgetown staged a 12-3 run to answer and move ahead by eight thanks to five points from sophomore forward Dominique Vitalis (Bloomfield, N.J./Gill St. Bernard's) and four by senior forward Andrea White (Lancaster, Va./Lancaster).
The Hoyas went into the break leading, 30-25, on a jumper from sophomore guard Katie McCormick (Leonardtown, Md./St. Mary's Ryken).
The Blue & Gray tried to pull away in the second, but Princeton stayed within three possessions.
A steal and layup from Amanda Berntsen at 9:52 once again put the Tigers ahead. From this point on it would be a battle as the lead went back and forth with neither team able to make a run. At 5:01, Princeton led by five, but the advantage was short lived.
At 2:37, White hit a pair of free throws to put Georgetown up by one. Her layup made it 64-61, but the Tigers roared back with a 3-pointer. This would set Butler up for the game winner as Georgetown managed to stay patient and get the 66-64 win.
"We like to give the team phrases during certain parts of the game, at one point I told them it was winning time," said Lewis. "When Princeton went up, we saw our kids come right back and execute and it's was all about getting stops and converting. We found a way to win."
White led all scorers with 23 points and seven boards, while Butler added 14 points and five rebounds. Woodard rounded out Hoyas in double figures with 10.
"I'm happy for Andrea White who was 10-for-15 from the floor, she was a warrior," said Lewis. "Down the stretch she attacked and got us to the line, had offensive rebounds and made baskets. She played like the All-BIG EAST performer that she is."
Georgetown outrebounded Princeton, 47-42, and shot 41.7 percent from the field while holding the Tigers to 34.8 percent shooting.
The Blue & Gray will head back out on the road for a long trip to Anchorage, Alaska to play in the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaskan Shootout. The Hoyas will open the tournament on Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET. Live stats and live audio will be available at the athletic website for the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves.