Dec. 29, 2011
HANOVER, N.H. - The No. 15/16 Georgetown University women's basketball squad returned from holiday break in a big way on Thursday with a 65-53 victory over the University of Vermont Catamounts (6-6) at the 35th Annual Blue Sky Classic hosted by Dartmouth University at Leede Arena. Junior guard Sugar Rodgers (Suffolk, Va./King's Fork) tied her career best and was one shy of the tournament record with 34 points in the victory.
Georgetown is now 11-2 on the season winning its tenth-consecutive game.
"In the second half we were much more focused," said Georgetown Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. "In the first half we weren't focused and we didn't follow the scouting report and that hurt us."
After playing just one game over an 18-day span, the Hoyas came out fired up to start the game as Rodgers and freshman guard Taylor Brown (Bowie, Md./Bishop McNamara) combined for Georgetown's first 16 points and the Blue & Gray jumped out to a 16-8 lead midway through the first.
Vermont cut the advantage to four at 5:40, 24-20, but the Hoyas answered with a bucket from Rodgers and one from senior center Amanda Reese (New Orleans, La./Episcopal School of Houston) to give GU the eight-point lead.
Despite a late scoring drought, the Hoya defense stayed strong to go into the break with a seven-point lead, 29-22.
A 7-0 run by Rodgers to open the second half was all the Hoyas needed to take a commanding lead, 36-22, as the defense forced five turnovers on the other end and didn't allow a Catamount basket for the first five minutes.
Late in the second, Vermont came back fueled by eight points from Kayla Burchill to cut the Hoya lead to eight. However, a three from senior point guard Rubylee Wright (Latta, S.C./Latta) gave the Blue & Gray some breathing room and made it 52-40 with five minutes remaining.
The Hoyas held on making the final 65-53 and giving GU the victory.
"Honestly the first half wasn't great, but the second half was better," said senior forward Tia Magee (Tulsa, Okla./Jenks). "We didn't execute and we weren't focused and we know that we need to play better tomorrow."
Rodgers led all scorers with 34 points going 5-of-9 from beyond the arc and 5-of-6 from the charity stripe as well as pulling down four boards. Wright posted nine points, six assists and five rebounds, while Magee had eight points and a squad-best seven rebounds.
Georgetown forced 25 Catamount turnovers on ten steals.
The 35th Annual Blue Sky Classic is the longest-running collegiate women's basketball tournament in the country. It is traditionally hosted by Dartmouth University between Christmas and the New Year.
The Hoyas will continue at the tournament on Friday as the Blue & Gray takes on the host Big Green at 7 p.m., in the final game of the classic.