Red hot Hoyas crush USF in Pink Zone game

February 10, 2011

Sugar Rodgers made her coach pay with a barrage of three-pointers. (Photo by Julianne Deno)

Before Tuesday night’s game against South Florida, Georgetown women’s basketball head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy pledged $50 toward breast cancer research for each three-pointer made by her team.

Sugar Rodgers made her coach pay with a barrage of three-pointers. (Photo by Julianne Deno)

The Hoyas (20-5, 8-3 Big East) made their coach pay a hefty price with their hot shooting from behind the arc leading to a 67-38 blowout. Coming into the game, Georgetown was shooting a mediocre 32.4 percent from three-point range, but in the first half, they couldn’t miss. They ended up shattering their season average, shooting 52.2 percent while draining 12 three-pointers to bring Williams-Flournoy’s donation to $600.

Aside from their offensive exploits, Tuesday night marked the Hoyas’ annual Pink Zone game. The team wore special edition pink Nike sneakers and socks to accompany the Bulls’ pink uniforms in support of the Kay Yow Breast Cancer Foundation.  All donations from the game, Williams-Flournoy’s $600 included, went to the foundation named for the late legendary North Carolina State basketball coach, who died of breast cancer.

Sophomore guard Sugar Rodgers, the Big East’s second leading scorer, came through with a standout performance of 25 points. She was Georgetown’s primary threat from downtown, with seven treys, one short of the single-game school record.

“I just went out there and played off my teammates,” Rodgers said. “The energy level of our team was up.”

The Virginia native is known for her scoring, averaging 18.2 points per game, but against USF it was her six-steal defensive effort that truly awed her coach.

“I’m more impressed with her defensive effort than her offensive effort,” Williams-Flournoy said.  “The offensive end—that’s what she does, that comes extremely easily for her.”

Aside from Rodgers’ high scoring total, senior guard Monica McNutt and junior guard Alexa Roche anchored Georgetown by contributing nine points apiece.  Lost in the shuffle was junior point guard Rubylee Wright, who only contributed three points, but directed the offense with eight assists and only one turnover.  She jumpstarted the Hoyas with her unselfish play in the first half, leading them to a torrid 43 points on 51.6 percent shooting.

Williams-Flournoy was highly encouraged by her point guard’s play, especially heading down the stretch of Big East play and into the postseason.

“Ruby is really developing into a good point guard.  There were a lot of times where she could’ve taken the shot, but she found other people,” she said. “I thought in the first half she made some great passes down low.”

Though Williams-Flournoy was disappointed by USF’s large advantage on the boards, outrebounding Georgetown 51-31, she was otherwise impressed with her team’s defensive effort.  They played to one of the Bulls’ weaknesses and allowed them to shoot it from behind the arc a great deal, which paid off.

“They’re a penetrating team.  Give them the three and they may hit it,” she said.

In the end, they did not hit any, and the Hoyas’ tenacious efforts led to USF missing all eighteen of their attempts from behind the arc, part of a humbling 23.7 percent shooting performance.  Led by Rodgers, the Hoyas produced 14 steals and turned them into 18 points off turnovers.

The Hoyas get to enjoy their six-game winning streak until Feb. 13, when they will look to build on it in New York City against St. John’s.  A win here would inch them closer to the top of the Big East standings heading into the final stretch of the season, when they will play Connecticut and DePaul, who are currently first and third respectively.

Georgetown is currently tied for fourth in the Big East with Marquette and Rutgers, but lately, with their red-hot play, they could continue to move up in February, the final month of the regular season.

Asked about their postseason hopes, the dynamic duo of Wright and Rodgers pledged to do more of what they have been doing a lot of lately—win.  According to Wright, this six-game winning streak is just the start and the team is prepared to make a big impact.

“Everybody’s ready,” she said.

Kevin Joseph
Kevin Joseph is a Contributor Editor and former Sports Editor for the The Georgetown Voice.

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