Dec. 28, 2013
GAINESVILLE - The Georgetown University women's basketball team dropped a tough 67-65 overtime decision to the University of Florida Gators (10-3) Saturday afternoon at the O'Connell Center. The opportunity was there, but the Blue & Gray couldn't overcome some late 3-pointers from the Gators to finish non-conference play with a record of 6-6.
"It was a heck of a performance by both teams," said Georgetown Head Coach Jim Lewis. "We knew how good Florida was and that they would make runs, but I'm so excited to coach this team because we had a lot of people step up. We saw a lot of freshman on the floor really mature and I'm confident we're prepared for the BIG EAST Conference."
Georgetown jumped out to a 7-2 lead on the back of senior forward Andrea White (Lancaster, Va./Lancaster) who tallied five-consecutive points.
The Blue & Gray continued to go inside with a 12-1 run including six points from freshman guard Jade Martin (Bloomington, Minn./John F. Kennedy) and four points by freshman center Natalie Butler (Fairfax Station, Va./Lake Braddock). Defense was key as Georgetown held the Gators scoreless for six minutes and without a field goal for almost 10 minutes to build a 19-5 lead.
At the 4:57 mark, the Gators cut it to seven, 21-14, by hitting from the line. Martin came down and answered with a 3-pointer on the other end. Despite Florida's jumper on the ensuing possession, that trey sparked an 11-2 run including four points by Butler to make it 32-16 with 1:37 remaining in the half.
The Hoyas played smart as the clock wound down, going into the break leading 34-18.
Georgetown shot 50 percent in the half and held the Gators to just 20.8 percent from the field. GU also outrebounded Florida, 24-12, and allowed just five made field goals in the half.
Florida wasn't going to back down opening the half with a 9-0 run to cut the lead to seven, 34-27. The Blue & Gray clung to a one-possession lead as the game sped up and the crowd got behind the home Gators.
It was a 3-pointer from Martin at 7:35 that made it 46-41 to calm the crowd and refocus the Hoyas.
The Gators tied it at 46, but it was time for sophomore forward Dominique Vitalis to take over with the offensive rebound, free throw and jumper.
The Hoyas held onto the lead, but down the stretch Florida closed in. In the final minute, freshman forward Faith Woodard (Brandon, Fla./Freedom) hit three free throws to put the Blue & Gray ahead 58-55. However, a late 3-pointer from Cassie Peoples tied it at 58 sending the game into overtime,
Florida controlled the game early as overtime began and the Hoyas were on their heels. The Gators led by six on a deep 3-pointer from Peoples at 1:57. Martin had an answer, however, coming down the court and hitting a long 3-pointer of her own to make it 66-63.
Georgetown got the defensive stop and Woodard banked in a shot from the right baseline to pull within one, 66-65. Georgetown was forced to foul and were looking at a two-point game as Butler came down with the rebound from the second free throw.
The Hoyas called timeout for one last shot and executed perfectly, but the shot didn't go in as the buzzer sounded making the final 67-65.
GU had three players in double figures with Butler leading the way posting another double-double. The freshman had 16 points and 18 rebounds including seven on the offensive glass. Martin added 16 points including a trio of 3-pointers and Woodard had 11 points in her home state. Woodard and senior forward Kelyn Freedman (Newtown Square, Pa./Radnor) both tallied six assists in the contest.
Georgetown shot 41.4 percent for the game and held the Gators to 34.9 percent shooting. The Blue & Gray also outrebounded Florida, 52-34.
The Gators had three players in double figures with Peoples posting 26 to lead the way.
The Hoyas will open BIG EAST Conference play at home on January 1 against the Creighton University Blue Jays. Tipoff is at 4 p.m., at McDonough Arena. Live stats and a webcast featuring Ryan Sakamoto will be available at www.GUHoyas.com.