It certainly wasn’t the start that any of them wanted, but the Georgetown women’s basketball team can’t dwell on its losses to Maryland and LSU, nor its narrow escape against Longwood. It’s not going to get any easier.
Although their AP ranking has dropped from 10 to 14, head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy thinks her Hoyas (1-2) are still a high caliber team.
“We can be [top ten], but we’ve got some tough opponents,” Williams-Flournoy said. “We’re not playing a sugar-coated schedule, where we can just easily breeze on through and be 15-0 by the time we start the conference.”
Their opener at home against the Lancers last Friday wasn’t the cupcake game Hoya fans were anticipating. After last season’s dramatic run to the Sweet 16 and the loss of just one senior, the women were expected to easily handle the unranked squad from Longwood.
Although the 56-45 score exemplified the Hoyas’ labored victory, the players still believe the game was helpful for growing the team’s experience and chemistry.
“I know [Williams-Flournoy] had a lot of combinations in,” senior Tia Magee said. “Everybody got to play, the freshmen all scored, it was really exciting.”
That experience would be important as the Hoyas met Maryland on Sunday, their first ranked opponent of the season. They were thrashed on the Terrapins’ home court 72-53. The Hoyas were outrebounded 42 to 11 and gave up 24 points off turnovers. The Hoyas have struggled in both of these categories in recent years, and Williams-Flournoy is not surprised.
“Rebounding has always been our Achilles heel,” she said. “Some things don’t change.”
However, some things have changed for the Hoyas. The squad previously known for their trapping press and pestering defense didn’t have the same fire as in years past. Williams-Flournoy said practices will consist of more running and conditioning to get the team back on track with its signature press, which she found unrecognizable at times over the weekend.
Magee put forth a standout performance in the loss, leading the team with 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Her contribution, however, failed to cover for struggling star Sugar Rodgers, who was just 1-of-12 in one of her worst games as a Hoya.
Unfortunately, Rodgers wasn’t able to turn it around against LSU last night. Only 4-of-20 from the field, she still hasn’t stepped up as the leading scorer that the Hoyas need her to be. Magee again led the team with a 12 point effort, but Georgetown fell 51-40 to the Tigers nonetheless.
While optimistic, the Hoyas need to buckle down for the next few weeks. The tough non-conference schedule doesn’t end anytime soon, with ranked opponents in Georgia and Miami (FL.) still remaining. The Hoyas know that they have a long way to go before they can even consider the daring trials of the Big East season.