Dec. 21, 2013
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - The Georgetown University women's basketball team controlled the entire game except the final seconds of a tough 57-55 loss to the Western Kentucky University Lady Hilltoppers (8-3) Saturday afternoon at the Puerto Rico Classic in San Juan. The Blue & Gray led by as much as 16, but couldn't stop hot second-half shooting to fall to 6-5 on the season.
"It certainly wasn't the result we wanted, but when you look at our goals for the game, we met a lot of them," said Georgetown Head Coach Jim Lewis. "Our bench produced today after we challenged them to have a career day and Dominique Vitalis did that with 10 rebounds including seven on offense."
The Hoyas opened the game with five quick points and, although the Lady Toppers managed a bucket , it was a 12-2 run that opened the scoring as the Blue & Gray was dominant inside and hit from beyond the arc.
Georgetown continued to get good looks, but went ice cold for a four-minute stretch giving WKU a chance to get back in it. Freshman Jade Martin's (Bloomington, Minn./John F. Kennedy) back-to-back 3-pointers allowed the Blue & Gray to hold the lead, 15-6.
The Lady Toppers answered with a 7-0 run of their own, but freshman forward Faith Woodard (Brandon, Fla./Freedom) stopped the momentum slashing through the lane to make it 17-13.
The Blue & Gray defense was a force in the final six minutes of the half as the squad allowed just two points by the Lady Toppers. On the other end, a number of players got into the act to build an 11-point lead making it 28-17 at the break.
Once again the Hoyas opened the second half with a quick 7-2 run to jump out to a 35-19 lead. The Lady Toppers weren't ready to concede, however, as Bianca McGee got hot hitting three 3-pointer in a row to make it 39-30 just four minutes in.
The Lady Toppers continued to hit with a 6-0 run making it 43-38, but Woodard slowed it down with a fast break layup at 11:48.
The Hoyas maintained the small lead as the game sped up and became more physical in the paint.
Georgetown was up by as much as 12, but an 8-1 run down the stretch cut the lead to three with two minutes remaining on the clock.
A bucket by Alexis Govan made it 51-50, but a composed Andrea White (Lancaster, Va./Lancaster) converted the layup on the other end to keep it at three. WKU got a shot off on the next possession, but freshman center Natalie Butler (Fairfax Station, Va./Lake Braddock) pulled down the rebound and passed the outlet to a streaking Woodard who hit the layup to make it 55-50 with less than 30 seconds to go.
The Lady Toppers had the opportunity at the three-point play, but missed the free throw and the Hoyas regained possession with a three-point lead and 13 seconds on the clock.
Unfortunately, a turnover would give WKU the ball back and McGee was able to covert her fifth 3-pointer of the afternoon to tie it at 55.
With no timeouts on the ensuing possession, a scrum at midcourt allowed the Lady Toppers to get the ball and go in for the layup as time expired to get the 57-55 victory.
White led the way for Georgetown with 16 points, and the Hoyas had three players with double-figure rebounds including 14 by Butler.
The Blue & Gray outrebounded WKU, 57-46, and had 27 on the offensive glass.
"We're optimistic about where we can go as we continue to improve and continue to get healthier," said Lewis.
The Hoyas will be back in action next Saturday as the squad travels to Gainesville, Fla., to take on the University of Florida Gators. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m., and live stats will be available through www.GUHoyas.com.