2009-10 Women's Basketball Season in Review
June 15, 2010
WASHINGTON - When Hoya fans look back, 2009-10 will be an important year in Georgetown women's basketball lore. It will be the year that everything is measured against as the Blue & Gray brought the program back to national prominence with a magical run through the regular season and into the NCAA Tournament. A mix of reliable veterans and electrifying underclassmen made 2009-10 a year to remember.
The Hoyas opened the season 1-2 starting a young lineup in Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy's sixth year on the Hilltop. However, after falling in a heartbreaker to Dayton, one of the hottest teams in the nation at the time, in the opening game of the BTI Classic in West Lafayette, Ind., Georgetown put together a 16-game win streak that made fans across the country take notice.
After downing Seattle University and the No. RV/23 Boilermakers, the Hoyas went on a run through December. This included victories over three ACC-rivals (Wake Forest, NC State and Clemson) as well as a win over the Richmond Spiders, a team the Blue & Gray had defeated in the WNIT the year prior.
Following the New Year, the Hoyas traveled to snowy Syracuse, N.Y., to open BIG EAST play. The No. RV/23 Orange were undefeated at the time and it took one overtime, but freshman Sugar Rodgers came through with a late basket for the 83-81 victory.
The win catapulted Georgetown into the national rankings for the first time since 1993 and the Hoyas soon rattled off five more conference victories to set a new program record with a 16-game win streak. This included a 66-52 decision at USF, which had won the WNIT the year prior and a 60-55 home victory over the 2009 national runner-up Louisville.
Georgetown continued to roll with wins over perennial powers Rutgers and Pittsburgh as well as a 67-57 home victory past No. 25/25 St. John's.
The signature win the Hoyas needed, however, came on February 20, Senior Day at McDonough Arena. In front of a sellout crowd the Hoyas dismantled No. 4/3 Notre Dame 76-66 marking the highest-ranked opponent the squad has ever beaten.
The Blue & Gray took this momentum into two more victories before a matchup at No. 1/1 Connecticut on the Huskies' Senior Day. After an emotional pregame ceremony in front of what would be the fourth-largest crowd to see a women's game in the country that season, Georgetown came out fired up taking a six-point lead on the undefeated Huskies. The Hoyas couldn't hold on and eventually fell, but the game was considered one of the toughest UConn would play all season.
Georgetown finished BIG EAST play with a record of 13-3 and a perfect 13-0 mark at McDonough Arena. With the third seed in the conference tournament, the Blue & Gray had to wait through a pair of byes to play a game and fell in a double-overtime thriller to Rutgers, 63-56.
Despite the loss in the tournament, GU still earned a place in the Big Dance taking the fifth seed in the Memphis Region and marking the first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 1993 and just the second in program history.
The Hoyas traveled across the country to Berkeley, Calif., to face Marist in the opening round. The Red Foxes had tourney experience, but Georgetown's press and defensive pressure were too much as the Hoyas downed Marist, 64-42.
Next up was a matchup with Final Four-bound Baylor University. Despite a disadvantage in the paint, Georgetown managed to stay in the game thanks to solid defense on the other end, but a dismal shooting day came at the worst possible time as the Hoyas fell 49-33.
Despite the second-round departure, the season was considered a success with accolades and milestones dotting the road to the tournament. Rodgers was named the BIG EAST Freshman of the Year and was a First Team All-BIG EAST honoree. Additionally, she was named a Honorable Mention AP All-American, a feat that no Hoya rookie has ever accomplished.
As a team, Georgetown was among the top three all season in steals per game and turnover margin. The Hoyas' defensive pressure and press became known among the nation's elite as one of the toughest in the country.
The 2009-10 season was historic for Georgetown women's basketball. However, the best is yet to come as the Hoyas return three starters and 12 student-athletes to continue to build on their success.