“An SEC opponent, coming into our house?” said Georgetown Head Coach Natasha Adair when asked about her upcoming game against Alabama (7-1, SEC) after Georgetown’s (8-2, Big East) win against George Mason (6-5, Atlantic 10) on Thursday. “Our kids right now, they’re salivating for that one.”
Going into the game, the women’s basketball team was fully aware how important of an opponent Alabama was, and what a win might mean. The team, which rolled past the Crimson Tide 70-59 Sunday afternoon in McDonough Arena, extended its undefeated streak to seven and now enters Big East play with more wins than any other team in the conference. Georgetown junior guard Dorothy Adomako led all scorers with 20 points, and senior forward Faith Woodard notched her fifth double-double of the season, earning 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Hoyas. Junior guard Hannah Cook led Alabama with 11 points.
The Hoyas found themselves down 8-0 early in the first quarter after Cook drained two open threes. After Adair took a timeout less than a minute after the tip, the team settled down and finished the period on an 18-2 scoring run. Both teams were pushing hard on the breaks, and turnovers abounded, 11 between the two teams, but only the Hoyas were able to capitalize.
As the second quarter began, the manic pace slowed as Georgetown wrested command of the game from the Tide. Although Alabama never slipped too far behind, the Blue and Gray were clearly in control, and extended their lead to 34-23 entering the half.
In the third and fourth quarters, Alabama managed to keep in stride with Georgetown, and the two teams scored an even 36-36 in the second half. The Tide found success drawing fouls, shooting a total of 28 free throws on the game. Georgetown had five players finish the game with four fouls apiece.
“This year they’re calling things a little differently, so we just need to adjust to how the refs are calling things and to show our hands,” said Woodard.
The effort from the charity stripe would not be enough though, and when the dust settled and the final buzzer sounded, the 11-point Georgetown advantage built in the first half remained.
Throughout the game, the battle was fought in the paint, where Georgetown—despite generally being dwarfed by the Tide—found success. After early strikes by the Tide, the long ball stopped falling for both teams (neither shot better than 30 percent from beyond the arc). Both teams adjusted by beginning to feed the ball into the paint and drive the baseline. Georgetown displayed tenacity inside, as junior guard DiDi Burton, standing 5-foot-5, successfully defended players as tall as 6-foot-5 in the low post.
“She says she’s 6-foot-5 inside,” said Adair of Burton. Burton also had three steals and led the team’s passing effort, dishing out nine assists.
Senior guard Jade Martin contributed to Georgetown’s interior efforts on the other end of the floor, displaying a variety of post-up spins and reverse layups. She finished with nine points on 80 percent shooting.
The Hoyas did struggle on the boards, though, allowing Alabama 47 total rebounds, 22 of which came on the offensive end. The team struggled to box out, and in the final quarter 15 of the Tide’s points came from second chance opportunities.
Georgetown will now enjoy a two week break until its season resumes with the beginning of Big East play.
“We get to go home for Christmas feeling good about ourselves,” said Adair.
The team returns to action on Wednesday, December 28 in McDonough against No. 16 DePaul (5-2, Big East). Tip off is set for 2:00 PM, and will be available to stream on the Big East Digital Network.