Hoyas prepare for Cardinals

January 19, 2012

After consecutive dominating wins against Big East opponents Syracuse and Marquette, the Georgetown women’s basketball team is now gearing up for a tough matchup against Louisville on Sunday. The team’s record has improved to 4-2 in the Big East and 15-14 overall, and they are now No. 19 in the AP poll, giving them a newfound confidence going into this weekend’s game.

Routing Syracuse came relatively easy to the Hoyas, and they were able to pull a 69-42 victory over the Orange. Syracuse’s defenders could not stop standout junior Sugar Rodgers, who scored 23 points. Senior point guard Rubylee Wright also played a big part in the win, scoring 15 points.

With the help of these two strong efforts, the Hoyas never trailed in the contest, even holding the Orange to just 13 points in the first half. The team’s relentless pressure led to 30 Syracuse turnovers and their defensive pressure kept Syracuse at 25 percent from the floor and 0-13 from three.

The Marquette win mimicked the Syracuse game in many ways, although different players stepped up in Milwaukee. While Rodgers still led the team in scoring, nine other Hoyas got in on the action, including senior forward Tommacina McBride, who came off the bench to score 14 points for the Hoyas on 7-7 shooting. The Hoyas also kept up the defensive pressure, grabbing 22 steals off of 29 Golden Eagle turnovers.

But even with these wins, there are a few holes in the Hoyas’ play that need to be addressed before the Louisville game. Against Marquette, the women were 5-14 from the foul line, and they only made five trips to the stripe against Syracuse.

At No. 18 in the AP poll, Louisville is one spot higher than the Hoyas, but they only have one win against a ranked opponent this season, against Florida State in November. The Hoyas, however, have had a tougher schedule so far in the Big East. They’ve played six ranked opponents, and all four of their losses have come against top 25 teams. The Hoyas have also been able to tally wins against Georgia and Miami, both top-10 opponents. It’s also important to note that both Hoya losses in the Big East have been to vaunted, ranked opponents Notre Dame and DePaul.

To defeat the Cardinals, the Blue and Gray will have to ramp up their offensive intensity, especially if they plan to rely on subs to bring the same spark off the bench as they did against the Golden Eagles. The Cardinals, who recorded all four of their losses on the road, will look to shut down Rodgers when they travel to D.C., though recent Hoya opponents have proven this to be a sizeable task.

The game is scheduled for Sunday in McDonough Arena. Tipoff is set at 5 p.m.

Players and coaches were not made available for comment.

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